Inaccessible toilets in large venues? AFDO is looking for your input.

From Leah Hobson of the AFDO [Australian Federation of Disability Organisations] :

AFDO needs your help. We’re keen to give Bill Shorten [Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services] examples of large venues which don’t do accessible toilets very well. A list of the worst offenders will also go up on the AFDO website.

So, what are we looking for?

LARGE VENUES: think concert halls, stadiums, theatres, large hotels, hospitals and big corporate buildings. They can be anywhere in Australia.

ACCESSIBLE TOILET ISSUES. Here are some examples of issues you might have with a venue:

  • Are there enough accessible toilets, or do you have to wait a long time to use the accessible toilets?
  • Do you have to travel a long distance inside the building to find the accessible toilets?
  • Are the toilets labeled ‘accessible’ even though they don’t meet your access needs?


* Email me at or send me a message on Facebook.

* Call the AFDO Office on 03 9662 3324 (TTY: 03 9662 3724).

* Respond to the discussion topic on the AFDO Facebook page.


Leah Hobson
National Policy Officer

Please feel welcome to discuss this here – along with broader issues of toilet accessibility that aren’t always related to Australia or large venues or disability (but may overlap/intersect) – but also leave your feedback so that your information will make it into Bill Shorten’s hands.

Categories: Miscellaneous

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6 replies

  1. Are there accessible versions of portaloos available for outdoor venues? If they don’t exist, perhaps Shorten and Co could offer a prize to design one and subsidize manufacture.

  2. Our son still fits on a baby change table (just) but we would really love to see some REAL accessible toilets/change facilities in this country.
    Like these
    Or a really clever wheelchair that could recline fully to allow for changing someone would make life easier for both (no need for hoisting).
    Or for those able to transfer, built in rotating/swivel standing supports to go from chair to throne
    And my ‘dream item’ teeny tiny japanese style toilets with butt massage, seat warming, washing and drying (and the option to put supportive seating on it)… Now that would stand my son in good stead of not becoming a ‘devalued person’, not needing ‘wipers’…
    It seems my fascination in childhood with all things toilet and beyond has come in handy…
    Gina @ Inky Ed!

  3. The toilets at Greater Union in Innaloo are shocking. There’s a tiny maze to get in, so if you’re in a big wheelchair, you’re fucked. But I might be remembering the entrance size wrong. I tell you, you don’t realise the terrible absence of seats until you’re in pain all the time. I hate waiting on my feet. 😦 But that’s a problem EVERYWHERE. Cause people sitting down is SO messy and unattractive to look at.

  4. Hi Gina, Mm, I like the idea of the automatic do-it-all-for-you toilets, though I worry a little about how bulletproof they’d need to be mechanically (and about how unpleasant or surprising some of the failure modes could be!) I’m trying to remember the last time I saw an adult change table in a public loo. I’m thinking “never”.
    Something I’ve noticed as a parent of an able-bodied kid – and of course this is a major issue for genderqueer and some trans people too – is the lack of unisex toilets. Now that he’s getting old enough that sometimes we get odd looks going into women’s toilets, he’s wanting to go into the men’s room, but I’m very uncomfortable with that unless I can get a good look inside first and stand guard outside. I’ve very occasionally gone with him into a nearby designated-accessible toilet, when I’ve been completely exhausted and not feeling up to the longer walks and checking and standing-guard involved with each going into separate loos; but you can just imagine the looks I got as a walking parent (my disability’s invisible) shepherding her kid into the accessible loo, so I don’t think I’ve done that more than once or twice. I get the same looks parking in ACROD spots if he’s with me at the time. Because everyone knows mothers are selfish bitches, of course, and everyone also knows that disabled people don’t care for offspring.
    I realised, reading this call, that I’m also yet to find an accessible toilet that’s easy to drive a scooter in and out; not usually a big drama for me as I can walk if I need to, but it’s not much fun having to leave shopping out where anyone could grab it.

  5. We have accessible port-a-potties here, but I don’t think Don’s ever used one, and I’ve never gone into them to note the size. I’ll keep an eye out for them and check the size out and maybe take a photo and send it alone, just for people to get a look at what they’re like here in Canada.
    Lauredhel, do you want to post this to Disability on DW as well? Or I could, when I wake up.

  6. Lauredhel
    here’s a couple of links to the Aust sites for these toilets in the ‘adult’ version. Our Japanese friends have them installed and love them. I think most homes in Japan have them. There are retrofit versions on ebay starting at 99c (not the luxury model though).
    Re lack of unisex toilets for kids the parent change facilities are a pretty good option. There’s some great ones in Singapore. Areas for feeding babies, changing babies, taking kids to the toilet. No issues with parents of either gender using them.
    For adults your point about unisex toilets is interesting… why do we even have unisex toilets? Sure a urinal should be better in its own room, but you could have a urinal bathroom and then a large unisex bathroom of all toilets. Is it a safety issue? I don’t know if sexual predators follow the conventions of signage as a rule? If you go to a large sporting event the men’s toilet line is always much smaller than the womens, when I was younger and more brash I used to just use theirs, the guys were only at the urinal courtesy of all the beer anyway.
    My solution for the perfect public facility. A changing spaces facility, a urinal only room, a parent change/toileting facility with nursing, changing, feeding (microwave etc) and bathrooms for adults and kids (some smaller toilets) identified as a parents and child facility and then a unisex facility of toilets only.
    Thank ‘Parl.Sec Bill’ for me when he gets that sorted 😉

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