Blue and white bathroom sign depicting female and male stick figures separated by a vertical straight line.An article published by the Ottawa Citizen May 4, 2016 reports on a GottaGo! study, completed by Masters of Social Work students from Carleton University, that has found City of Ottawa public bathrooms wanting.

Over the course of this year, a group of social work grad students partnered with GottaGo! to complete a study reviewing the  availability, accessibility and quality of 92 city-owned and operated public toilets. The study revealed that:

“Almost half of the toilets surveyed (45 per cent) were unavailable, either due to seasonal or daily closures, even though the assessments were conducted during standard operating hours on weekdays and weekends.

And a majority of public toilets (63 per cent) that are deemed to be “wheelchair accessible” pose at least one accessibility barrier to people with mobility challenges. Some didn’t have grab bars or toilets that were tall enough for people to easily transfer to and from their wheelchairs, while others have stall doors that aren’t equipped with an automatic door opener or push bar. The researchers concluded that these shortcomings reinforce the discrepancies that exist between bathrooms designated to be “wheelchair accessible” and their actual functional accessibility for people using mobility devices.”

To find out more, read the full article.

One of the Masters students involved in the study also participated in an interview with CBC on the issue on May 5, 2016. Check out the radio interview or read the article!

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