Accessible Toilets For Wheelchair Users

Wheelchair accessible toilet at Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre.
Photo by Wuan.

Toilets for disabled persons are basically ones that are large enough to allow the manoeuvering of a wheelchair inside. The more correct term for such facilities is accessible toilets for wheelchair users; hence they are marked with the international symbol of accessibility on the doors. The doors open out and are affixed with lever locks, bars and large latches that are can be operated by hands with poor dexterity.

Fixtures are all within easy reach and suited for use to those with limited hand function. Grab bars on both sides of the closet bowls allow for easy transfer from wheelchair and vice versa. The height for washbasins is just right for a wheelchair user to use. An alarm with cord makes it very useful when the need to summon for help arises.

The floors should be dry and clean. Hands of wheelchair users usually come in contact with tyres. Rolling over wet floors will dirty the wheels and the hands as well. Likewise the closet bowls and washbasins should be clean as hands will often come into contact with it.

There is a need for such toilets because the cubicles in normal public toilets are usually small, inaccessible and not adapted for the use of disabled persons. Washbasins in such toilets are usually placed in the common areas and not positioned for convenient use of those on wheelchairs.

There is a reason why non-disabled persons are prohibited from using such toilets. Repeated use and abuse will damage and make the toilets dirty, wet and unusable to disabled persons. For every ten to twelve usable toilets for gents and ladies, there is only one that is accessible to wheelchairs. An unusable accessible toilet will greatly inconvenience a disabled person who needs to use one urgently.

Many people with disabilities have poor or no control over their bowels and bladders. Some disabled persons suffer from chronic kidney failure and need use the toilets to perform intermittent catheterisation, failing which the kidneys will be further damaged or infection sets in. This is another reason why these toilets must be left vacant for such contingencies because they are the only handful that is accessible to wheelchairs at any one place.

In the United Kingdom, the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR) implemented the “National Key Scheme” that allows access to locked accessible toilets. These locked toilets can be accessed with a RADAR key that can be purchased by those who qualify.

The National Key Scheme, sometimes known as the RADAR Scheme, was developed because some public toilets designed for disabled people had to be locked to prevent damage and misuse. This has been countered by their being locked separately from other toilets. The NKS aims to provide disabled key holders with independent access to the toilets provided for them and increase the likelihood of the facilities being in a useable state.

If accessible toilets for disabled people do have to be locked, providers are asked to join the NKS, which involves fitting standard locks to their toilets and making keys available to disabled people. Over 400 local authorities in all parts of the country have now adopted the scheme.

In addition to public conveniences, toilets for disabled people provided by a wide range of other public, voluntary and commercial organisations have been fitted with the NKS lock. So it can now be found in shopping centres, country parks, railway and bus stations, bars, motorway service areas and sports venues. Around 7000 toilets are now fitted with the lock and can be found from Shetland to Jersey and Derry to Dover.

Within the scheme RADAR:

  • supplies NKS keys to disabled people who cannot, or have difficulty, getting one locally,
  • maintains a list of toilets fitted with the NKS lock
  • and provides general information about the scheme to individuals and providers.

RADAR does not advocate the general fitting of locks to all toilets for disabled people but does urge that the NKS is used where a lock is required.

Link: National Key Scheme

In Kuala Lumpur, two major shopping complexes have locked their wheelchair accessible toilets for the same reasons. Suria KLCC and Berjaya Times Square have implemented a similar system. The janitors hold the keys and control access into the toilets. These two complexes have some of the cleanest accessible toilets I have used.

Toilets for disabled persons is a right, not a privilege. A barrier free environment provides people with disabilities a better quality of life by allowing them to participate and be contributing members of society. To deprive people with disabilities these basic amenities is to infringe on their rights and dignity. Whither civil society when selfishness reigns and the needs of people with disabilities are disregarded and ignored?

Related articles:
Accessibility for the Disabled – A Design Manual for a Barrier Free Environment
The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

52 thoughts on “Accessible Toilets For Wheelchair Users”

  1. Irregardless whether it’s XX or anyone else. Using facilities meant for disabled people is just wrong. Period. Enuf said.

  2. This will really educate some of us. Thanks for the posting. I’m not insensitive but ignorant, but after reading this, I now know I should never use a toilet meant for wheelchair users.

  3. Spot on, Peter! Great piece for educating people out there who take things for granted without sparing a thought for others.

  4. Peter, It is good that you write that piece explaining why accessible toilets should only be used by disabled people.

    I would like to add that apart from providing keys and locks in public places there should be a call button near the accessible toilet, where one could wait there, while the janitor comes to find you and unlock the door. Sometimes it is difficult to search for the janitor, or the keys located at the reception…

    BTW, is the accessible toilet illustrated at Gleneagles Medical Centre ergonomically correct? Is that water hose lever difficult to operate?

    Yes, I hate wet floors myself.

  5. LecturerUM,
    I catheterised sitting on my wheelchair. I did not use that tap. Therefore I cannot be sure if it is ergonomically correct. However, this is the only toilet of all those that I have used that has a very large tap handle that can be operated by those with very poor hand dexterity.

  6. i applaud you for what you did.I NEVER in my own life used a toilet meant for people sitting on wheelchair.What XX wrote was a disgrace to singaporean.Her justification on why she use the toilet was totally crappy and reflected how ignorant she is.You enlighten us on details that many people like us never think of. XX even got the nerve to bad mouth you.I can’t believe how adamant she is,she simply refuse to acknowledge that she was in the wrong.

    Now she even asked her readers to help her when she obviously is in the wrong!!What message is she trying to convey to her readers??That using toilet meant for the disable is right??Years of education has gone to waste,she don’t even have decent morality.

    But not to worry,justice is always on your side and i support you for speaking up=)

  7. For me at least, that *siah-suay* (XiaXue) which literally means a disgrace, has the worst kind of handicap. She can only think logically, so can my calculator.

    To use one’s brain to think logically is not clever or wise enough. To be able to think using one’s heart and be compassionate towards other human being is what matters.

    What I say is logic or not? think again…

  8. Toilets for the handicapped is not a right. It is a priviledge. It will only become a right when the diabled pays for the RADAR key. But how many actually pays in our region?

    Yes, you may be entitled to your own opinion. However, you CCed to all the various organisation regarding this matter and it caused a endorsement deal to end. I would say, you are just after public attention.

    Don’t do that, you never know who’s on the other side. They might disagree with you and due to that, it will risk the amount of donations to those organisation that you are helping.

    Just because this matter and you want to bring her down by CC-ing to all the organisations and causes her endorsement deal to end. If someone else accidentally knocks onto you, I guess you will just break the leg of that person.

    Time to train your patience and temper. Learn more from your Father.

  9. A toilet is for EVERYONE to use. That goes to the disabled toilet.
    The sign simply explains that the toilet is disabled-friendly. Why can’t I, when no one is using the toilet, use it when I have the urge and the aunty so happens to wash the toilet? What crap is this?

  10. fuck u asshole.

    lookin @ ur face turns me off man.

    just take a freakin look into the mirror.


    read ur posts r truely a waste of time, for u r just some kid hu has nt seen the entire beautiful world, oh well, i guess u’ll nvr haf a chance to do so either.

    so stop actin sorry & gainin sympathy.

    so disgusting.

    ugly basterd.

  11. who are you kidding? Nothing is a right. Rights are what the capable grab for themselves. The idea of the privileged disabled is a result of, if we believe John Rawls, the conceited self-interest of the capable. You are fortunate (?) enough to live in a society that allows you the opportunity to view the disabled, or anyone for that matter, as having rights. The ugly truth is that the concept of privileges and the idea of rights differ from surrounding to surrounding, depending on majoritarian views and socio-economic circumstances. To make it plain: When push comes to shove, what is to stop society from abandoning the disabled to be fed on by vultures? Please don’t make such absolute statements that are so characteristic of religious doctrine, something you are clearly deeply immersed in.

  12. I do not agree with your post that toilets for the disabled can only be used by the disabled and that your post has several assumptions and most of it are not very strong arguments. Let me state that i only got to know about the existence of this site thru reading XiaXue’s blog however the points that i am going to make are what i personally believe in.

    Firstly from what little i gather from your blog, u are a disabled person(correct me if i am wrong, i don’t have time to read thru your blog), thus you look at the use of the toilet for the disabled from your the viewpoint of the disabled only. You did not take into consideration of the abled-body. If i didnt read wrongly, “Toilets for disabled persons is a right” u are trying to make a point that under no circumstances, no matter how urgent, the abled body person should not use the toilet for the disabled, don’t you think that your extreme statement borders on bigotry?

    My second point would be that of economics. It does not make sense to build a toilet and leave it vacant for the better part of day IF the normal toilets are overutilised. Of course, if the normal toilets are not operating a full capacity(still vacancies around) and an abled person still chooses to use the toilet for the disabled then the person is absolutely in the wrong. As for the fact that needs to be clean and stuff, i believe that it is better to educate the public that it is important not to wet the floor etc etc instead of stating something along the lines of “thou shall not use the toilet for the disabled unless one is disabled…”

    My third point is not regarding the toilet, it regarding your liberal use of assumptions that are not realistic. “Repeated use and abuse will damage and make the toilets dirty, wet and unusable to disabled persons” The word abuse would make for great reading but how many abled person would actually want to abuse the toilet?? Be realistic. We just want to use the toilet not destroy it and trust us, we do know how to use the toilet.

    “Many people with disabilities have poor or no control over their bowels and bladders. Some disabled persons suffer from chronic kidney failure and need use the toilets to perform intermittent catheterisation, failing which the kidneys will be further damaged or infection sets in.” Your assumption is that an abled person happens to use the toilet for the disabled when a wheelchair bounded disabled person who also happens to have kidney problem needs to use the toilet and the wait results in further damage to the kidney then as it happens, infection sets in as well. Well, this does sound a little far fetched to me. Anyway assuming it happens, the abled body person is in the wrong. However if the incident(kidney problem->wait too long->condition worsen->infection) happens because a real disabled person is using the toilet, what gives?

    I am an abled body person and my point of view is different from that of yours. While u believe that it is a right for the disabled to have toilets for the disabled, i believe that it is a privilege.

    “Whither civil society when selfishness reigns and the needs of people with disabilities are disregarded and ignored?” I wonder if u heard of this phrase – when u point a finger at others, the remaining 4 fingers are pointing back at you. You claim that people who use the toilet for the disabled are selfish, however you insist that no one besides the disabled have a right to use those toilets borders on selfishness to say the least. And i must point out that the needs of the disabled are not ignored, to say otherwise would be a plain lie or pure ignorance. Ramps, toilets and lifts are being built all over the world to cater for the disabled, what do you say of this? In the end, it’s all about compromise. The disabled must understand this – the world do not owe you anything, neither do society. So before you start talking about the rights of the disabled, think again. Able bodied people should be allowed to use those toilets but when a disabled person needs to use it, it is their responsibilty to allow the disabled person the right to use it first.

    Well, that’s all i have to say. Since i have left my email address behind u can feel free to reply if you dont see my point, i’ll gladly enlighten you!

  13. I really think even if you thought that she’s wrong, you need not go to the extent of sending the emails to her endorsement companies. That borders on being mean. I sincerely think she did not mean any malicious harm to the handicapped people. A post on your blog would have been sufficient, is it?

  14. Peter, maybe Xiaxue was wrong in some ways talking about using handicapped toilets, and she may have insulted that particular handicapped person in her post, but I dont think she was insulting all handicapped people. You could have straightened that point out to her by post or email, but to straighten her out by writing letters to end her endorsements is not nice at all. It would be like talking bad behind another person’s back. Of all people, I thought you would at least be that sensible?

  15. Just a hypotetical question. If all the cubicles in the normal toilets are used. And I have severe food poisoning.

    But because I cannot use disabled toilets whatsover, I have to take a crap on the floor, or shit in my pants, while the disabled toilet remain un-used.

    ok. Peter, i guess logic become secondary, when we have such high principles to adhere to.

  16. quote
    [The disabled must understand this – the world do not owe you anything, neither do society. So before you start talking about the rights of the disabled, think again. Able bodied people should be allowed to use those toilets but when a disabled person needs to use it, it is their responsibilty to allow the disabled person the right to use it first.]

    well said..
    ppl do not look at you differently, its yourself who look at yourself differently n think u are different from the rest.

    we will definately let you have the right to use the handicapped toilet 1st, but it does not mean that the handicapped toilet can only be used by the diabled only.
    its like the mrt, the seats meant for elderly n pregnent woman.
    we still sit on them right? just that if we see an elderly or pregnent woman, we let them have the seat.
    its does not make sense to leave it empty even if the whole train is crowded just becoz it is of a different colour.

  17. Killing off someones lively hood for revenge was outright mean. What you did was VERY un-Christian like.

  18. To All Xia Xue Supporters,
    The place I work reserves a toilet just for the senior management.
    It doesnt matter even if your menses is dribbling down your thighs, you will be fired if you even think of going in. There’s relevance between using that toilet and your job!
    Everyone and everything has its place in this world, so get the drift. You stick a banana in your hole when you feel like it, doesnt mean I can stick mine in when its vacant.

  19. why writing to the endorsement company?? becuase by writing to xx will not works. she simple thinks that she is right ! she will not learn any lesson ! by ending the support of endorsement, she then will feel the pain and harm that she has done on the handicaps. that this immoral girl will learn to respect other peoples.

  20. I’m not a fan of peter or xx..

    But I’ve this to say.. Everyone has his/her own opinions and we ought to respect it, regardless of whether we agree with it or not.
    However, to jeopardize her endorsement deals just becoz you do not agree with her views is plain pathetic. I see no connection between pretty nails and comments about the handicapped.

    Who r u to determine someone as a bad model of the society?
    R you the spokesman for everyone in the society?
    R you god?
    I’m glad I’m a non-believer…

    R u jealous of her juz becoz she is popular? or issit another malaysian against sporean issue?

    Grow Up!!

  21. Actually the toilet should be dry and clean irrespective of the amount of traffic there is right. I mean, overseas, the toilets are all nice and dry and clean and free of vandalism. Even the toilets for non disabled people.

  22. i totally agree that it is plain mean to destroy her means of income this way. did she do the same to u? did she destroy ur means of livelihood too? im sure she didnt. but why did u haf to do that? does it make u a happier person? maybe u cud try putting urself in her shoes for a second. im sure u wud be downright angry if that’d happened to u.ok maybe her opinions made u feel angry.. or unjustified.. wadever.. but many people’s opinion make me feel angry too!!! does that mean i haf to see them suffer in return for myself feeling “better?
    another point is that some people think handicap means people sitting in a wheelchair. many people haf incontinence problems too! they cant control their bladder for long too! and those people dont even sit in wheelchairs.. you wouldn’t noe if they’re handicapped” at all! does that mean they haf no right to use the wheelchair-accessible toilets(if there’s no vacancy in normal toilet cubicles) just becos they’re not in a wheelchair?

  23. I think you are way off to insist that handicap toilets should only be utilised by the disabled.

    Handicap facilities (lifts, ramps, toilets, special markings) are installed for the benefit and convenience of the disabled. While in most cases, such fittings are not useful to the rest of the population, when they become required, every member of the public is entitled to use them. They are built using public funds. They are not property owned by the private few (the disabled), neither did the public confer special rights to the private few for such facilities. (the exception applies for disabled parking lots, which clearly states that only the disabled should park there, and for good reason) I do not remember coming across any handicap toilets that states that the facility is for disabled persons only. The marking only identifies the toilet to be suitable for usage by the wheelchair bound.

    Also, I find the method you have used to be excessive. I am sorry to hear that Xiaxue’s endorsement was cancelled as a result of your complaint. I am glad to hear that you are a Christian, I am likewise. In this case, you should be familiar with the Bible’s verses condemming self-righteousness. Refer to Luke 6:37 and Mathew 7:1 and may you find peace in your actions.

  24. I think Wendy Cheng has a right to say whatever she wants, and that it is NOT the “duty” of other bloggers to police her blog or spoil her endorsement deals. Don’t be jealous… be creative. Make YOUR blog special so that YOU can get endorsements of your own!

  25. To all the XX supporters,
    Go over to XX’s blog, read them lick-my-pussy comments. Supporters’s comments are allowed, those oppose are moderated. Concealing the real scenario, creating an atmosphere that bitch is supported by many. What a loser. Contradicting on everything she say.

  26. Great, now you have attracted thousands of more viewers to your site, you should have satisfied your own ego. For god’s sake, she was complaining about how rude that person was. Do things need to be blown up to such an extend where you need to email her endorsers to cancel the deals? She’s putting so much effort in promoting voxys, kimage and localbrand products and yet with your own way of thinking, you assumed so much things and emailed her endorsers. I feel thats quite a xiao ren act.

  27. Toilets for disabled persons is a right, not a privilege.

    what the heck?
    its not as if people close one eye when disable people want to use the toilet.
    yes, i do know how hard it is. my grandparents use the wheelchair.
    i myself volunteered at an old folk’s home near my house.
    and dearest petertan, as a ROMAN CATHOLIC CHIRISTIAN you CLAIM to be,
    save the shit la.
    yes, i read xiaxue’s post. they can be a little unreasonable sometimes,
    but heck! the net is a free space! stop being so shallow as to bombard people.
    i have a very high level of respect for disabled people.
    at how strong they can be sometimes.
    but you, have proven to me that disabled people have no sense of being GRATEFULL.
    right? dont shit me la.

    DUMB F U C K!

  29. what have XX done to you that make you do this to her. blog is a place to air individual’s view and who are you to comment on her or even try to end her endorsements? I can’t think of anything else except JEALOUSY. I bet you are jealous. Or you are dying to get the attention that XX has. Please, go to the mirror, look at your face, nobody enjoy reading your boring rambles and your pics… here, i dont care u are a sg or malaysian, its you, your attitude problem. get a life, or go get a job. loser!

  30. HOW CAN YOU BE SO MEAN? just because xiaxue wrote something that you did not like dosen’t mean that you could kill off her endorsement deals. it is her blog and she has the right to write whatever she wants.

    she also already stated very clearly that she would give up the cubicle meant for the disabled if he/she needs it. why do you people keep on assuming that she meant every disabled person in the world?

  31. sheesh. peace to the both of you. I don’t wanna this to turn to a civil war between Singapore AND Malaysia just because of this. Kinda stupid don’t you think so. It’s like -haha, rolls eye-, so yeah, both parties are partly at fault. Hmm. PEACE dude, PEACE.

  32. XX is stating that she WILL GIVE UP USING THE HANDICAPPED PERSON’S CUBICLE if somebody needs to use it, and not hogging on to the cubicle and ignoring others.

    you don’t OWN the cubicle, what rights are you talking about? Every Tom,Dick and Harry can use any public toilet to his/her own likes. And you think you have the right to go attacking her till this extent by ending her endorsements and all simply BECAUSE YOU’RE HANDICAPPED SO PPL WILL SUCCUMB TO YOUR EVERY WISH? I see you’re also lacking something in your heart, your heart is handicapped as well.

    my kudos to Christopher Goh, he has pointed out the real meany behind your appearance.

  33. I think ur plain mean!!why would u wanna use ur disability to attack others??u DO actually realise that they dropped the endorsement deal cause they sympatised on u right??Anyway,Im not here to criticise u..Im here to EDUCATE u about the word n meaning of a “BLOG”..its obvious that u forgot what it actually means..anyway..blogs r for those who want to SPEAK their mind..they r entitled to do whatever shit they why must u bother bout what she says??She has her own opinions n does not need u to meddle ur ickky hands in them..why must u attack her below the belt??is this some kind of way that u disabled ppl use to get ur way when u want things??u could have just blogged it..n she wont give the fucking shit bout u..IM a MALAYsian too for ur info n it is a disgrace to know how unfeeling u ppl can get..ur one of those BAD BAD apples that give us MAlaysians a bad name!! every one of her fans r at ur blog..u happy now that u get so much attention??lets just hope ur 5 seconds of fame doesnt make that bald head of urs fill up with hot air n blow into bits!!look my dear,KArma is a bitch n what goes round,comes maybe one day..something bad will happen to u..n you’ll remember what a bitch u were to XX..JEALOUS JEALOUS JEALOUS!!thats all u are!!I have 2 uncles who r disbled n they don mind if ppl use the disabled toilet..they r smart to WAIT!!

  34. Peter Tan was correct to fight back. I am backing what Peter Tan did. I would have done the same. The reason being, people like Xiaxue thinks that she can say what she likes, which can undermine all the efforts of what people were trying to do, which is to fight for the Rights of Disabled People.

    Yes, it did not happened overnight. Disabled people along with able-bodied people had been working alongside each other to produce guidelines on how to make the built environment more accessible. Usually it is done outside their working hours, where they worked voluntarily and sacrificing precious time away from family.

    In Singapore where Xiaxue comes from, I know personally the individuals from the Singapore Handicapped Association who worked with the Singapore Government, such as the HDB, and the Public Works Department during the evening and weekends, sacrificing their spare time and their family time so as to get the guidelines for disabled toilets and other facilities on board for disabled people to use. They spent for years scouting the Orchard Road area, shopping complexes, government buildings etc making access surveys and giving free consultations to the officers in Government.

    What happens in Singapore is made an example in Malaysia and other Asian and Pacific countries when in the 90s, UNESCAP adopted the Singapore guidelines and trained people from all over Asia to fight for the rights of disabled people. Although this is about Accessibility, it touches and effect many other issues relating to disability.

    Many of us in this forum may not know that there are kids out there who are disabled that did not get further in life because the environment is disabling, for example, I know of people who stopped schooling just because after 12 years old their parents cannot carry them up the flight of stairs anymore, thus affecting their life’s chances. So many issues, that need to be at the forefront but we can only managed to highlight about Accessibility, which when looking at how developed countries had done it, were the first issues to be highlighted. We in Asia have still a very long way to go.

    People need to understand that eventually they will all be handicapped in a way, as they grow older, and their hips and knees start to become arthritic and other ailments come. How to enjoy life when we are older? We see more and more elderly people going out around Orchard Road and other Singapore city spots. There are accessible toilets, so that wheelchairs can fit, lifts, brailled and tactile surfaces, places to sit, and so on, to make life a bit more bearable and enjoyable. For people who has spinal injuries, the time taken to wait for a disabled toilet, may result in him/her getting urinary tract infection, and making a setback to hsi/her condition, hence the need for people to be sensitive to not use disabled toilets.

    If things are not accessible and disabled toilets are not available, how do people get to do what others can easily do?

    Why criticise and deny disabled people their rights to living as you do?

    So Brand Names like Xiaxue or whatever it may be (such as any other famous bloggers or personalities) or companies or whatever business out there, please be ready when you start critising and putting down disabled people and their rights. We will fight back. We are no pushovers! We know our rights and that is our privilege as human beings!

  35. LecturerUM: The reason being, people like Xiaxue thinks that she can say what she likes…
    So may i know, where can she air her views? not in her blog? and where? Do you seriously know or understand the meaning of BLOG? GO check the dictionary, please, for ppl’s sake.

    XX has emphsize that she will give up the cubicle if disabled ppl wanted to use it. I mean com on, there are many ppl who use disabled toilet, don’t kick a big fuss over this. We are not so mean to the extent of occupying their cubicle when we know that they want to use it.

    I hate to say this, but reading the middle part of your comment is really a pain, we know the pain of disabled ppl and we don’t need you to repeat again and again. it seems like you copy the middle para from a newspaper. Its irrelevant to the topic here, do you understand? (hope you can get it this time round)

    Do you think it is rightful of a person in attempt to end the endorsement deal of XX just because she has been misunderstood? Even though you don’t like what she writes, do you think you have the right to do that? There are many ways to express your unhappiness of a person, writing in your own blog could be one of the ways, but writing to companies is definitely unethical.

    Everyone has eyes to see, no matter you are disabled or abled, doing that is definitely not acceptable.

  36. What makes society OBLIGED to provide rights for disabled people? You don’t see that the romanticism surrounding the championing of diabled rights is but a pretense of the able-bodied in a bid to secure their own self-interests in the longer run. If you sincerely believe that such “rights” are irrevocable and absolute, I am sorry to inform you that you have been hoodwinked. One of the many that have been indoctrinated. ASK YOURSELF WHY RIGHTS EXIST. WHAT ARE RIGHTS?

  37. Hey Peter,
    Honestly, I have used disabled toilets before, something that I’m not proud of after reading your post. It has shed much light as to why the use of these toilets should be reserved specifically for its purpose of catering to those with special needs. It is disgusting that able bodied people who are not only more mobile but advantaged need to argue over the matter of justifying the need to use a disabled persons toilet.

    I believe the companies endorsing xiaxue are run by intelligent, rational people who canceled her deal based on legitimate reasons, and not because of emails written to them. For those who left comments attacking peter tan personally, you people are nothing more than exactly what you type. Instead of reasoning logically, you resort to name calling, which is irrefutably childish and serves no purpose other than a display of the kind of mentality you have.

    Thank you for the enlightening post. I guess at the end of the day, everyone will have their own opinion as to whether or not it is ethical/logical to use toilets suited to disabled people’s needs.


  38. XX was looking at the disabled person in her post as another human being. If he does not lock his door and someone opens it, he has no right to rant at that person for his own mistake. He may be disabled, but surely he is not mentally retarded. She was attacking the fact that he was RUDE and not the fact that he is disabled. True, the guy who opened his door was not disabled. So what? I use disabled toilets in my school, in shopping malls, etc. when I really need to go and the normal toilets are packed with people and there are no disabled people around.
    Who pays for the construction of disabled toilets? The majority are ABLED people. If the disabled people pay for these facilities themselves, then sure, us abled people have no right to use the toilets. But this is not the case. Thus, how can you say that it is YOUR RIGHT? We have as much right as you do to use the disabled toilets since the money used to construct them comes mostly from us. Moreover, XX did say that if a disabled person wants to use the toilet she would give it up to him. Likewise, if a disabled person was to come up to the disabled toilet just as I was about to enter, I would certainly let him use it first. I feel that disabled toilets are for everyone to use, just that PRIORITY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO DISABLED PEOPLE. You are one of the malicious christians I have ever met and I do not think that the Bible teaches such morals. To write to XX’s companies and the organisations for the handicapped is unreasonable and mean. She is not a bad representation of society. In fact, I think she is one of the better representations of society because she dares to be politically incorrect. She dares to speak her mind. And society isn’t perfect. I bet half the people who are pointing fingers at her have used disabled toilets at least once in their lives. Also, what makes you think only abled people will wet the floors and dirty the toilets? I should think disabled people can dirty and wet the toilets too.

  39. it’s your own fault you got yourself disabled. what makes you think that we have to serve YOU and give in to YOU? you die your own problem. not ours. be grateful that there’s even such a thing called the handicapped toilet. c’mon, i mean, you’re so ungrateful la. and now xiaxue leh? she frigging lost her job.

  40. this makes some good points, and some erroneous ones. if it were a right, people in countries and locations everywhere would have access to toilets, including ‘accessible’ toilets. there are people even in the US who do not. are their rights being violated? who knows. but the fact remains that they don’t have them, be they disabled or not. people in many countries suffer the same things, whether they are in a wheelchair or not – if there is a toilet, it is a LUXURY that most of us are all too used to having.

    i don’t recall the young woman ANYWHERE on her blog saying that she’d kick a disabled person out of a stall, or further prohibit a disabled person from using an accessible stall. in fact, i recall her mentioning that if she was aware of a disabled person needing the stall, she would certainly move aside.

    the point i took from her story is that the person was rude. disabled or not, rudeness doesn’t have to be tolerated, especially when one is (excuse me) pissing down one’s leg trying to find a toilet.

    you state this:
    “There is a reason why non-disabled persons are prohibited from using such toilets. Repeated use and abuse will damage and make the toilets dirty, wet and unusable to disabled persons. For every ten to twelve usable toilets for gents and ladies, there is only one that is accessible to wheelchairs. An unusable accessible toilet will greatly inconvenience a disabled person who needs to use one urgently.”

    i don’t know anyone who abuses a toilet. i’ve never seen it happen. ever. i’m sorry if where you live people are ripping toilets off the walls, and clogging up the sinks, however, did you stop to think that the people who do so may also be disabled? a stretch, yet still a possibility, no?

    finally, assume for a moment that you come across a seemingly ‘abled’ person using an accessible toilet (not all of which have pull cords and sinks and what have you, you know). consider that there are other reasons someone might use the one closest to him/her. perhaps the person has a genetic condition that causes his/her bladder to be weak. perhaps that can’t be seen from the outside.

    i don’t make excuses for people of any ilk to be condescending, or for the same people to be rude. if one wants to be treated like everyone else, one has to take EVERYTHING that comes with it, no matter how annoying or uncomfortable.

  41. at the end of the day.. i think both camps have their points.. just that emotions run high and both lose their cool.. i’ve personally used the handicapped toilet before and i dare say i’ve used them only in situations where i’m really urgent and the queue is long. ethical theories, economic theories, moralities.. are all nonsense when applied in its entirety without considerations for a balance between them. if everyone have the same considerations and respect for others, a lot of events like this would not have happened, or would have been resolved more amicably. just my 2 cts anyway.

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