Here at MFM HQ we were fascinated to read about little Evalynn Glennester-West, aged 5, who doesn’t like to use the regular toilets at her local supermarket because of those horrible noisy hand dryers.
While Evalynn has autism, we’ve found it’s not that unusual to have a child who’s a bit freaked out by loud hand dryers. Sometimes this harks back to their time as babies in public loos and the fear has never left (why are hand dryers always placed so near the changing table?!).
Evalynn, who has autism, also find queues difficult. Coupled with the fact her mum Tonya has balance problems, chronic fatigue and bowel problems, the pair tend to use the disabled toilets in their local Asda in Newark.
Unfortunately, though, Tonya says they’ve been challenged by strangers on more than one occasion, saying they should be using the ‘regular’ loos.
Tonya admits that while they’ve tried to brush off the comments, both she and Evalynn were left feeling upset by the remarks.
With this in mind, Tonya spoke to store manager Abby Robinson to see if there was any way Asda could come up with a sign that reminded people not all disabilities are obvious to the eye.
Sure enough, the store came up with a notice for the disabled toilet that reads:
“Not every disability is visible”
And – far from keeping it at local level – the company plans to roll the sign out at 421 outlets across the UK.
The news has received a very positive reaction from Asda shoppers, as you can imagine, with more than 800 people commenting on the story when it was shared on their Facebook page. One wrote:
“I used to take my daughter (diagnosed with autism) to the disabled toilet as the hand dryer noise used to scare the life outta her. Used to get some funny looks. Thankfully the noise doesn’t bother her now. Well done Asda.”
“Finally, this is brilliant! You know what Maisie is like with the hand drier noise, and the amount of looks I’ve got for taking her in the disabled toilet ? people don’t understand that the alternative is literally the rest of her day ruined because I’ve had to chase her through the shop while she’s screaming or hiding on the floor with her hands over her ears because someone else came in the toilets! Well done Asda ?”
And yet another noted:
“Amazing, we also have to use disabled toilets when out with my 6yr old son as the hand dryers cause him distress, especially if people set them off unexpectedly whilst he is using the toilet. Hope others will follow suit! ?
Here here – well done Asda, we say.
Now – how about installing some silent hand dryers? ?