We understand that not all disabilities are visible which is why we’re rolling out new signs for our disabled toilets in more than 400 of our stores.
We want to make sure all our customers feel comfortable using our facilities – including those with disabilities that aren’t always obvious such as Crohn’s disease, autism and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
The new signs were inspired by a conversation between our Newark store manager Abby Robinson, mum Tonya Glennester and her five-year-old daughter Evalynn after a recent visit to the store.
Evalynn, who has ADHD and autism, used the disabled toilet but she and her mum became upset when they were questioned by another customer who told them “You don’t look disabled.”
“Evalynn can be affected by the noise of the hand dryer as well as queues and crowds of people,” said Tonya, who is a member of a local autism support group. “It can cause a sensory reaction causing her to become upset or have aggressive outbursts, so the accessible toilet gives us a little more space and privacy.
“When we walked out there were two customers waiting, one in a wheelchair, and they disagreed that I should be using the toilet. I also suffer from health issues that can cause pain, chronic fatigue, bowel pain and balance problems meaning I often have to use the hand rails. We were both really upset and left the store but I decided to speak to the manager because I know there are so many stories like ours.”