Handicapped Bathroom Stall: A Poll

For purposes of this thread, let’s ASSUME that use of the handicapped stall by the voter is ethical (that is, is not inconveniencing/pissing off/offending anyone). I just want to know peoples reason(s) for using or not using the stall.

Also, here’s hoping my first attempt at a poll works

For me, it is all assuming no handicapped people are in the area at all. I’ve had this discussion on the Dope before and know people disagree with me. So:

  1. I use it if it is open. I guess it’s my first choice, even. Yes, I’d feel terrible if I found out a person in a wheel chair was waiting, but I’m 32 and it hasn’t happened yet. Please don’t judge me. :slight_smile:

  2. I also sometimes use it because they put the baby changing thing in there and also because it is big enough for me to take my 2 1/2 year old daughter in with me.

I enjoy my almost exclusive use of the typical “handicrapper”. There are several important factors that are cause for these palatial estates to be far superior to their cramped brethren. Toilet placement is key. In an ADA stall, the head is typically adjacent to the back wall. This creates a comfortable margin between my disgustingly obligatory act of expulsion and any number of complete strangers. I also enjoy that any good ADA compliant stall will have a utilitarian handrail conveniently located beside the toilet, in order that I may fold my newspaper and stage it there as I wipe the seat and assume the position. Finally, having my own private sink is undoubtedly a perk that we shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to reward ourselves with from time to time. My one ongoing complaint about “handicrapper” stalls is that all too often you’ll encounter a mirror that is tilted down because some selfish handicapped person didn’t have the decency to put it back how they found it.

I should note that the poll choices were taken from the man threads we’ve had on the topic of handicapped bathroom stalls, so I expect at least one vote for every choice by the time it’s all said and done.

Other: Use handicap stall because the other stalls are too small half the time to close the door without standing on the toilet.

Other: I don’t use the handicap stall if other stalls are available, but if not, I have no problem using it.

I use it when the other is too small. Otherwise I don’t.

That said, I used to use them all the time until they actually started labeling them. How was I supposed to know what they were for? Granted, the other toiled was smaller, but, unlike the recent trend, not so small that I couldn’t spread my legs. I just noticed the stall was always open, so I thought everyone just preferred the other one.

Also, I don’t buy that handicapped toilets take up more room. I’ve seen other places–the bathroom is smaller if handicap accessibility is not necessary.


When other stalls were in use, I have used handicapped stalls at the places I’ve worked (IT as employee and consultant) because, as it happened, there were never any handicapped people around (nor were the parking spaces used). I wouldn’t do it if there were a low but reasonable possibility of a conflict, such as at a government building. I actually did work for a county government for a while, but even there there were no handicapped employees in my area.

Other. In the men’s rooms at work, there are two stalls. One is a handicapped stall. So if you need a stall, that’s often your only choice.

FWIW, in five years on this floor of this building, I’ve never seen anyone with an apparent physical impairment enter the handicapped stall of the men’s room. So chances that anyone who works here needs the handicapped stall is essentially nil. And visitors are a rarity.

Wow. I could have written this exact post (with the 2.5 yo daughter and everything).

I don’t use the handicapped stall because I don’t need it. I don’t care if others use because they’re handicapped, find the normal stalls too small, or whatever. If the handicapped one is the only one left or if I have a big bag or something I’ll use it. I’m usually quicker than anyone else (I’m not sure why except that I don’t use the seat covers because they’re pointless) so in any case it’s not likely to be a problem.

Generally this, although in our bank of 4 at the office if someone is in the middle of the three normal stalls I will use the handicap stall to maintain one stall of separation.

I checked: “Do not use handicapped stall because I want to leave it open for the handicapped” but I’d use it if others were full or dirty.


after one of the threads highlighting handicapped challenges, I stopped using the stalls. I prefer them because it’s usually on the far end but no big deal to give it up.

I didn’t see the main reason I use the handicapped stall, which is if all the other stalls are occupied, so that’s the only one open.

  1. If I need to change the baby and the changing thing is in that stall then obviously I use that one.

  2. I rarely do #2 in a public restroom, so the vast majority of the time I use the urinals.

  3. If I have to sit down and I have my choice I use the first stall in the line (it is never a handicapped stall). I read somewhere that it is the least used stall and therefore theoretically the cleanest and best stocked. Don’t know if its true, but whatever.

  4. If there is no choice it means the restroom is already pretty crowded and I’ll feel really uncomfortable using it anyway, so I’ll just wait. Unless it really is emergency time and there is no other choice, then who could blame me? This has maybe happened once in my life.

Reading one of the other handicapped threads also has made me more determined not to use the handicapped stall if possible. It really would suck to be in a chair and go into a restroom with 6 empty stalls and have to wait for someone to finish up wiping.


Where I work there are a grand total of seven stalls in the ladies rooms, and two of those are handicap accessable. There is one disabled woman who ever works there, and she comes in for aproximately 20% of projects. The other 100 or so people on the floor are not disabled. Of course people use the handicap stalls too, especially when there’s no one with a “rightful claim” on them 4/5ths of the time.

Elsewhere I’d let a disabled person waiting use the handicap stall first. If I ever saw one waiting for one. Which I never have in over 30 years of using public restrooms.

I use the handicapped stall because I am very large and not all that flexible anymore. The contortions required to use the “common sized” facilities are often quite difficult for me. Technically, I could be classified as disabled due to permanent spinal and joint injuries, but I personally feel that as long as I can “make do” I don’t need to take (unfair) advantage.
I will certainly allow an obviously disabled person to use the facilities before me.