A reader asked:
I have a question about accessibility and needing things. I have OCD (actually), and one of my issues is contamination. I’ve realized is that it’s much more comfortable for me to use the accessible stalls in bathrooms, because they’re larger so it’s easier not to touch things. But, I’m able-bodied. I don’t want to make people wait when it’s not safe for them. But I also don’t want to do things like not drink water all day so I can avoid restrooms. Is there a way I can navigate this best?
I’m not entirely sure, but this is how it looks to me.
I think that the bottom line is that accessible stalls/bathrooms are for people with disabilities who need accessibility features in order to be able to use a bathroom.
I don’t think psych disability is fundamentally different than mobility impairment in that regard. If you need a bathroom to have certain attributes in order to be able to use it, that’s a legitimate access need. OCD isn’t imaginary, and you can’t just will it out of existence because other people’s disabilities are different from yours.
If you’re doing unsafe things like going without water all day in order to avoid the bathroom, I think you ought to use the bathroom you can actually use.