I recently had a troubling experience. After traveling on a mini vacation with my husband, I found myself in need of a restroom. Most fast food chains have fairly clean, and easily accessible restrooms for someone in a wheelchair. Knowing this, we stopped at a Burger King.
Now, it should be made clear that I occasionally find public places to be “less than handicapped friendly”. Sometimes the handicapped stall is too close to the opposite wall, which makes entering and exiting it difficult. Some soap dispensers are difficult to reach from a sitting position. I had never, until this point, experienced this particular problem.
The “handicapped” stall in this establishment was equipped with grab bars for safety. The toilet paper dispenser was within reach. They had a trashcan (which is often forgotten in those stalls). The only problem was, after entering the box in my chair, I couldn’t shut the door. This was not because I couldn’t reach the door, or reach the lock on the door (both of which I occasionally encounter), they had made the handicapped stall too small for a wheelchair. There was no way that I could have shut the door, without first pushing my chair out-of-the-way, and out of my reach.
Long story short, I had to use the restroom with the door open. Thankfully, no one else entered the restroom, which would have exposed me to whoever happened to be seated within view of the restroom door. Thankfully, I only needed a minute or two to take care of my business.
Imagine those who need a longer time. Those who use a catheter or wear adult disposable undergarments which they might need to change. There could be many other humiliating situations a disabled person might encounter.
The ADA has established guidelines for making building accessible to people in wheelchairs. There is no reason for something like that, especially in a major chain like Burger King.