Many people with special needs, for whatever reason, cannot use a standard toilet. They must wear diapers and be changed by a third party.
Many people know this, or at least wouldn’t be terribly surprised to learn about it. What many people don’t know, however, is that this presents a disastrous dilemma when people with disabilities want to go out in a public place, as bathrooms are simply not equipped for them.
Think about it: they’re too big for a baby changing table. The only options left are unacceptable and degrading; they must either lie on the dirty bathroom floor, get changed in the trunk of a car (where anyone and everyone can see them), or they must sit in their own waste until they can find a private place to be changed.
This could all be solved if public bathrooms would install height-adjustable changing tables and hoists. However, the vast majority of public restrooms do not offer this.
That’s why Sarah Brisdion, the Hampshire mother of a seven-year-old with cerebral palsy, is advocating in a way that’s…well, pretty attention-grabbing.
Yes, that’s right, people. This bold and determined mama is taking festive selfies on the porcelain throne this holiday season in order to raise awareness of this problem that affects thousands of disabled people and their families. She plans to post one to Twitter every day of December up through Christmas Eve.
In addition to raising awareness for a huge issue, her goal is also to erase the stigma behind bathroom needs—which she believes will, in turn, bring more attention to the problem of accessible restrooms.
“We don’t talk about toilets and what we do on them. I want to try to break down some of those barriers,” she said.
In addition to being a mom, Brisdion is an active member of Changing Places, which advocates for more inclusive restroom facilities.
Though posting these pictures is rather uncomfortable, the brave mom is determined. “The slight embarrassment I feel from sharing these photos is nothing compared to the indignity my son feels having to lie down amongst other people’s urine,” she said. “It’s easy for me to take a photo. It’s not easy for my son to live with being discriminated against.”
Needless to say, her toilet selfies have been getting a great deal of attention. Hopefully this raises the awareness and helps create the change she is advocating for!
Click below to find out what YOU can do to help those in need of changing spaces!
A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.