For many people who are confined to a wheelchair, the ability to pass urine or have a bowel movement is no longer a voluntary act. Depending on the individual again, this can be even more traumatizing than not being able to walk. For many individuals either one of two things occurs; first, you just go, just like a baby who has no control or on the other hand, you can not pass urine at all and must catherize or put a tube in the penis or vagina that leads to the bladder and relieves you instantly. This is not a pleasant experience of course, yet is a necessity for some. In regards to having a bowel movement, one may have to use a suppository or an enema while others may have to take a long time and push strenuously.
#1 The person is not bound to the wheelchair. If they were they definitely could not use the toilet. They are a wheelchair user.
#2 A proper accessible stall has space to the right or left of the toilet to transfer to the right or left. Some people use sliding boards. They slide themselves over onto the toilet. Some can manage without a transfer board.
#3 A narrow accessible stall without the space to the right or left is more difficult. There are a few ways to do it. You can transfer onto the toilet seat sideways and then turn your body. Some can stand when they hold onto the grab bars just long enough to transfer. Some can take a few steps - and then they might just get up and use the toilet.
Grab bars are essential - to use for balance and to pull yourself.
Having the toilet paper and other recepticles placed in the right places are also essential. I have been injured several times in an accessible stall and it has always been from the same thing - the metal boxes they attach to the walls for "sanitary" products. I have cut myself on the sharp corners of them more than once.
A word about accessible stall etiquette. If there is an another stall to use - use it. If it is the only one available - go ahead - unless there is a chair user waiting. The chair user gets to go to the accessible stall first as soon as it becomes available.
" More to the point, we often found that although the door to the stall was wide enough, the door to the public washroom itself wasn't."
"This depends on the person in the wheelchair. If the man was alone, it is likely he has enough ability to stand or scoot. I am in a wheelchair. But, my arms are stronger than average. The bars provide support for pulling up to a standing position. If a person was not able to stand, they would scoot over to the toilet.
I have been in a weaker state in my life. I would scoot to a sideways position. Once I transferred to the toilet, I would turn myself around. An electric wheelchair will not move when it is turned off, so it provides a stable support for transferring. A manual (non-powered wheelchair) has brakes that will lock the chair in place.
Believe it or not, being in a wheelchair is thought to be the major hindrance by walking people. In truth, transferring can be the toughest task. Human resilience is a mighty thing. You learn to adapt to any situation when you face a new challenge. Otherwise you die. I have a quote that I always keep in my mind. A philosophy if you will. "
"Some people in wheelchairs are able to stand and sit on the toilet. Some use the bars to lift and pull themselves onto it. Some men can urinate from the chair and some have a urine collection bag that is strapped to their chair or leg that they can lift up over the toilet and drain.
One big problem for some of us in wheelchairs is that we have only marginal control of our functions and when we feel the need to go we must go immediately. I personally have found this to be a serious problem in public restrooms because able-bodied people will use the accessible stall even when all the others are vacant.
The accessible stall should not be used by an able-bodied person unless all the others are full and they cannot wait. It is very unfair to those of us in wheelchairs to have to struggle with control when the person in there could have used any of a dozen other stalls."