Should a disabled person get first use of the handicapped bathroom stall when there's a line?

This only happened once when I was wearing the cast on my arm. I went into the public bathroom and there was a line. When the person came out of the one hanicapped stall, I was seven people back, but the next person on line used it. When she came out, I was three people back, but the lady at the head of the line told me I could go.

So what is your opinion?

I think so.

I’m voting yes.

This is assuming that there are more standard stalls than disabled. An able bodied person has more available stalls, the disabled person just the one.

If however there is just the one stall, which happens to be disabled friendly, then I would need to rethink.

I would say yes, but also that I don’t think having a cast on your arm is a disability that requires the handicapped stall.

I’ll have to disagree on that in some cases. With a cast, your range of motion is limited, and you may need more room to… uh… pull your pants down. Some of the regular stalls I’ve seen are extremely small.

Really? At the time I only had use of one hand. Would a missing arm count as handicapped?

Praise be for elastic waistbands on pants!

ETA: As **Ann Onimous ** pointed out, regular stalls are very small. Try doing your thing with a full cast from wrist to halfway up your upper arm.

Maybe, I guess. But I don’t think people are going to notice someone with a cast on their arm and automatically assume that they need the handicapped stall. I don’t think it would occur to me, quite honestly, whereas if someone had a wheelchair or crutches it would.

I broke my arm way up by my shoulder once. They couldn’t put a cast on it, and so they immobilized it by strapping it to my body with a big brace. Couldn’t move it at all. It was a huge pain in the ass to do anything, but there’s nothing about a handicapped stall that would have helped me even a little.

Depends on the situation. If they’re within the next cycle, then absolutely wave them ahead into the disabled stall when it comes available. Otherwise, when they come to the front of the line, they’re going to be waiting most of another cycle before they can get into a stall. If there’s a line out the door where people at the front of the line have been waiting for 10 minutes, and they’ve just joined the very back of the line…they can wait a little while.

The disabled stall is for disabled people. Use of it by able-bodied people is a privilege, not a right, and lasts only until a disabled person needs to use the facility. If you don’t like it, go get yourself a disability and see if you think the perk is worth it.

–Mal, able-bodied.

One, as CCL says, they should go to the front of the line because otherwise they will have to wait at the front of the line for 3-5 people before actually getting a chance to go.

Furthermore, seeing as it is such a tremendous pain in the ass to use a public restroom when you are disabled, I tend to assume that if they are there at all, they really, really need to go.

Finally, if some schmuck actually manages to play the disabled card and get an advantage they didn’t really need . . . I think I am ok with that. I mean, I get to be abled for the rest of the day (and hopefully longer). I’m not going to worry if they pulled one over on me.

My wife is a primary caregiver for her handicapped sister, so I’m very sensitive to these situations. I tend to agree with most of the comments so far: if the handicapped person was in a long line outside the bathroom (like in a stadium) they should wait for a while like everyone else; but once they get closer they should be allowed to take the handicapped stall as soon as it is available. The distance they get to move up is determined by the number of stalls.

It wouldn’t occur to me to give a handicapped stall to someone with a broken or missing arm, although I understand and have no problem with doing so. It’s just that my brain tends to equate “handicapped stall” with “wheelchair accessible” so it wouldn’t dawn on me that a one-armed person would need to use it.

Try this experiment: Just once, strap one arm to your body and then use the bathroom. You will never take two-armed toilet use for granted again.


I’m not saying I take it for granted, I said I didn’t need the big stall.

I’m not saying it’s an illegitimate use of the handicapped stall; it just wouldn’t be on my radar.


Personally, I think they should wait. The disabled people I know would prefer to be treated like anyone else, or so they’re always saying, anyway.

And as someone currently having an out of commission right arm, I fail to see what the handicap stall provides that will help me. Getting my pants down is the same trial in any stall. I would hardly expect to jump the queue because of it.

I answered the poll before reading the OP, so I was thinking wheelchair, not broken arm. An additional factor there is that many of the conditions that can put you in a wheelchair in the first place can make it very difficult to wait for the bathroom. I’d wave them in, no matter how far back in line they were. A broken arm, I might wait until they get close to the front of the line, as others have said.

I’d lt someone in a wheelchair go ahead of me, but someone in a cast wouldn’t even register as needing the handicapped stall, let alone needing to go to the bathroom more urgently than anyone else.

It’s not being treated the same as everyone else if you get to the front of the line and then have to let the 4 people behind you go first because the 4 normal stalls open up before the handicap one does again.