Sometimes you see it as a caring place, sometimes you see it as harsh and sometimes it feels not inclusive to all families.
Once my daughter grew to a size that baby changing tables were too small for her, our view of the world changed.
How would we take care of her toileting needs in a regular bathroom?
On the floor?
In her wheelchair?
Could we both fit into a stall with the wheelchair?
Our world became harder to navigate.
We started to keep a list of accessible places or we timed our trips where there was less chance of needing a restroom.
Or worse, we either had to leave her home with someone or we all stayed home.
Life with a loved one with special needs is isolating, but now we found ourselves even more isolated.
This is not a topic that anyone wants to talk or think about.
Families with loved ones who need special changing facilities are not out there making this need known.
Our toileting habits are private and it's not a conversation to bring up "just because".
I used to think that a disabled stall took care of things, but as I personally found out, that is just the beginning of making our communities accessible for all.
As our children grow older, we want them to live their life with dignity.
That includes their toileting needs.
Families would love to include all their family members in their outings, but sometimes the lack of proper facilities limits those times.
Even our local children's hospital lacks such facilities but the examination table has been offered many times before we leave our appointment.
Businesses are missing a huge client segment when they exclude families with this type of special need.
If one shopping mall offered a changing table in a family restroom and others didn't, that mall would be the hangout for my family.
Our world has become more accessible and easier to navigate with wheelchairs, but there is still one big reason many families stay home.
It’s time to remove this barrier too.