Provide realistically ADA accessible bathrooms
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Since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 many accommodations have been put in place to ensure that people with different abilities have access to the same buildings and services that the able-bodied have. While great strides toward inclusion have been made, the very fundamental accommodation of bathroom use has not.
It is commonly held that 'handicap stalls' in public restrooms are accessible and fully accommodative. The ADA community disagrees. Often, doors on these stalls open inward thus causing issue for larger wheelchairs to close the door behind him/her or open the door easily once the wheelchair has entered rendering the use of the stall pointless. Most stalls do NOT accommodate a caregiver easily, if at all nor do they have adult-sized changing tables or lifts for those who require absorbent products. We believe the right to use public restrooms should be afforded to ALL individuals regardless of gender identification or different needs and therefore changes need to be made.
"Title II requires city governments to ensure that all of their programs, services, and activities, when viewed in their entirety, are accessible to people with disabilities. Program access is intended to remove physical barriers to city services, programs, and activities, but it generally does not require that a city government make each facility, or each part of a facility, accessible. For example, each restroom in a facility need not be made accessible. However, signage directing people with disabilities to the accessible features and spaces in a facility should be provided. Program accessibility may be achieved in a variety of ways. City governments may choose to make structural changes to existing facilities to achieve access. But city governments can also pursue alternatives to structural changes to achieve program accessibility. For example, city governments can move public meetings to accessible buildings and can relocate services for individuals with disabilities to accessible levels or parts of buildings. When choosing between possible methods of program accessibility, however, city governments must give priority to the choices that offer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate. In addition, all newly constructed city facilities must be fully accessible to people with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149, 35.150, 35.151, 35.163."
We petition the Federal Government to provide larger stalls with adult-sized changing tables in all federal buildings much as they provide access to all of her other citizenry. We further call on retailers to enlarge their ADA stalls and provide useable and humanitarian access to people with wheelchairs and their caregivers. No longer should children with special needs be laid on the floor and their caregivers made to sit next to them to change them. No longer should people in wheelchairs be blocked from the most basic of human needs because of undue physical restraints; simply moving from a chair to a toilet when the bars and lifts to assist the move are unavailable or out of reach.
We request accommodation of the most basic of human needs with dignity.
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