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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Restroom Access Act

Back in November 2007, I wrote about The Restroom Access Act, aka "Ally's Law"  and gave the story of the little girl Ally.  The same thing has happened again, to someone else in another area.  Here is her story.

Today, September 07, Labor Day, I was driving home from my job and had a bit of a problem. You see, I have Crohn's disease. It is an inflammatory bowel disease, that along with many other things, can cause you to have to use the bathroom rather immediately.

Such an incident occurred on my way home from work unfortunately. Usually in this situation, I would have gone to one of several restaurants along the way offering public bathrooms, however it was labor day and most things were closed. The Plaid Pantry was the only thing in immediate site that was open, and trust me when I say the situation was immediate. Wrongly assuming they would be understaning, I drove into the lot, parked, and ran as fast as I could inside. I quickly asked the manager where the bathroom was. He rudely told me they had none. I asked him if the employees had a bathroom they used. He stated that they did, but he would get fired if they let me use it. Having no time to delay, I gave him as descriptive and immediate of an explanation as I could, stressing the fact that I had a disease, this was an emergency, and I doubted very highly he would get fired for letting me use his bathroom. I explained that I would call his owner, explain the situation personally and see that he was not fired. I also specifically told him that I would, without a doubt, have an accident in my pants if he did not let me use his bathroom. He laughed at me.

Horrified, I left the store, attempted to walk to my car, and had an accident in my pants, right there in front of your store, in broad daylight, on a crowded street.

The rest of this story requires no detail. Said accident occurred and I drove home in that condition. I walked to my apartment past neighbors in that condition. Never have a been so degraded and embarrassed. Thirty years of my life I have lived with this disease; never once has a public place of business refused to allow me to use their restrooms in such an emergency, rare as they are. Needless to say, myself or my family will not be shopping in your stores again. I will also be posting this story on the consumerist.com and reddit.com, a social networking site, in hope that your change your policies so this event never again occurs in the future.
 This is really sad and this has to change.  I recently read that in the UK, with the government ran health care system, people with crohn's are given a card that gives them access to any restroom.  It is also like that in places like Minnesota.  I believe that we should have the same laws nationwide.  To make this happen we need help.  People interested in making The Restroom Access Act a reality in their state, should contact your local representative.

Here is a great link to get more info on the act and getting the word out.

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