So, today I rang the pool to ask them to confirm the state of the disabled changing rooms (Since, thanks to the new sign, I can’t change in the general population changing room anymore).
Here’s a quick diagram of the pool to help anyone having difficulty envisaging the layout;
So, this evening, being more than a week since my last swim and thus getting very, very sore and out-of-shape, I rang the pool to ask about the disabled facilites. I’d used them before, and vaguely remembered there being no lockers in them, but thought I should ring up to check whether I’d just missed them.
And the phone call went roughly as follows.
Me: “Hi, I was wondering what the disabled changing facilities were like, for the pool?”
Reception: “They’ve got everything, a shower and all that”
Me: “How about a locker?”
Reception:”No, you’d have to use the locker in the ladies’ changing”
Me: “Aren’t they through those heavy doors?”
Reception: “They’re all on the same corridor”
Me: there’s two really heavy doors in the way, and a right-angle turn that I’d have to do carrying a bag. Which will be really difficult, on crutches”
Reception: “I don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s just there on the same floor, the ladies’ changing.”
Me: “But they’re not accessible, that’s why there’s a disabled changing area.”
Reception: “You’d have to go through the ladies’ anyway to use the shower before getting in the pool”
Me: “But there’s step on either side of that”
Reception: “Oh, you could get someone to help you”
Me: “No thanks, I’ll leave it”
Reception: “Oh well, suit yourself.”
So, here’s that same diagram annotated with the paths that a disabled person is meant to do, as compared to a hypothetical perfect abled person, and the path I’d been taking. Lest we forget as well, the corridor between the disabled changing room and the pool is single-glazed and when the door is open, is open to the elements, so it always cold enough that on wet, bare skin it’s dangerous. Abled people are never asked to try to walk through it in their wet swimming kits.
The paths the disabled are asked to take;
The path the abled are asked to take;
And the path I’d been taking;
And I seem to be the only person who is looking at this and thinking that it’s completely ridiculous. They’re asking people who can’t safely use a small changing cubicle to risk their health even further by adding 2-6 extra door pushes/pulls to their routine, doubling their walking distance, and crossing a freezing-cold external corridor whilst first in only their swimming kit, and then in their swimming kit and soaked to the skin.
All because someone tutted at the thought of seeing people getting changed.