Original article from Kent Live
An angry mum has taken to social media to share her experience of able-bodied people using a disabled toilet.
The woman, who is disabled, had visited an aquarium to celebrate her kid's birthday and was forced to wait for the disabled toilet while it was used by a family.
She then took to Mumsnet to post on the 'Am I Being Unreasonable' forum.
The incident has since divided opinions online, as Cheshire Live reports.
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In her post, she said: "As I am in a wheelchair, I have no choice in which bathroom I can use, I had to use the disabled toilet.
"I had to wait until a mother and a couple of younger kids came out of the disabled toilet which surprised me. As it looked unlikely that any of the younger kids would need nappies.
"Then I went in this was a dedicated disabled (not accessible) toilet with no baby change facilities. I do understand that the first mother might have an invisible disability, as might her children."
However, as the disabled mum was using the toilet, she was then interrupted several times by an impatient mum rattling the handle.
This was done to pressure her, forcing her to hurry up.
"I kept calling out that the toilet was occupied, which was frustrating. When I left and an impatient mother with a pram was waiting to go in," she said.
"I told her that there was no nappy changing facilities in that toilet, assuming she wanting to change the baby. But she snapped at me that she was a mother and had to use this toilet gesturing to the pram."
"I felt that this second mother was just entitled and rude. Having a pram doesn’t entitle you to use a disabled toilet."
Many users on the site were rather surprised by the woman's decision to use a public toilet with a pram.
"Use the end toilet in the women’s bathroom, with the door open and the pram in the toilet doorway, like everyone else does," one person commented.
"Years ago, I had 4 kids under 6yo at one stage and I never used the disability toilets, except for the baby changing ones for baby changing purposes."
The mum claimed that she asked the aquarium staff to consider adding a RADAR (Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation) lock to the bathroom: "AS this was the ONLY disabled toilet, and the baby change facilities were separate.
"To increase the likelihood of ringfencing these limited facilities for those who actually need them, rather than those people who want to use them."
These locks ensure only disabled people can use the disabled toilets, since only those with RADAR keys can access them.
Many users replied with sympathy with the disabled mum's plight: "It’s rather sad that all the stuff we campaigned for 30 years ago has lead to an increasing number of self-centred, solipsistic women who trample the disabled under their designer wheels.
"The same ones that occupy wheelchair spaces on buses and shriek if someone uses a P&C space without a child. Horrible women."
Another user commented: "Why should a disabled person have to wait for a non-disabled person to use the disabled toilet?"
On the other hand, many users thought that toilets should be accessible to parents with prams, and admitted to using facilities meant for disabled people: "Honestly, I agree with you. But I also think family toilets are needed. I took (my son) to an attraction today. We both needed the toilet.
"I’ve been before and the women’s cubicles are ridiculously small, but I can’t leave my 4 year old outside when it’s crowded. Took a punt on nobody needing the disabled toilet whilst we were in there and nipped in for a wee.
"I feel guilty, but not much I could do. There is no way that a pram could go into the women’s toilets at the place we were in today, so I’d imagine that a lot of people with babies use the disabled toilet too."
Another mum added: "Do men ever do this or is it exclusively women that you hate? Dripping with misogyny. Well my designer wheels will be coming into any suitable toilet with me.
"Do you seriously think a whole group of society should be degraded by having to openly toilet? Is that a prissy princess choice in your eyes?
"I can assure you it doesn’t feel so privileged when you realise the is no provision for your needs and you have to use a facility intended for others to protect your dignity."
Currently there are over 400 local authorities in the UK which have adopted the RADAR lock scheme.
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