Bat­tling stigma

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Asda To­ry­glen is one of more than 400 stores across the UK help­ing to break the stigma sur­round­ing in­vis­i­ble ill­nesses and dis­abil­i­ties.

The com­pany has launched a pro­gramme to in­tro­duce ac­ces­si­ble toi­lets, in­clud­ing clear sig­nage to in­di­cate that not all dis­abil­i­ties are vis­i­ble, help­ing to en­sure cus­tomers feel com­fort­able when us­ing the fa­cil­i­ties in-store.

The idea was prompted by a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween an Asda man­ager and a five- year- old cus­tomer with ADHD whose mum was ques­tioned when they used the dis­abled toi­let.

The move has also re­ceived recog­ni­tion from Crohn’s and Col­i­tis UK.

A spokesper­son said: “It is fan­tas­tic that ASDA has recog­nised that not all ill­nesses are vis­i­ble. For many peo­ple with In­flam­ma­tory Bowel Dis­ease (IBD), the sud­den and un­con­trol­lable need to use a toi­let is a gen­uine and recog­nised symp­tom of their con­di­tion. Whilst they may not look ill on the out­side they are af­fected from de­bil­i­tat­ing symp­toms that af­fect all as­pects of their lives.

“Many mem­bers of the char­ity feel that they are judged for us­ing ac­ces­si­ble toi­lets be­cause oth­ers per­ceive them to be well and not en­ti­tled to use the fa­cil­i­ties.”

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