University Students "Pub Crawl" For Accessible Toilets
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 1, 2004
LONDON, ENGLAND--Ordinarily, "pub crawl" makes one think of a rowdy group of party-goers drunkenly dragging themselves, or each other, to one pub or bar after another.
But this weekend, students from Bournemouth University are embarking on a different kind of pub crawl -- to see if the drinking and other establishments are "disability friendly".
The students are joining thousands of advocates across Britain as part of "Free2Pee", an accessibility awareness campaign launched in May by the cerebral palsy charity Scope. Free2Pee uses "traditional British toilet humour" to draw attention to the need for usable toilets and other facilities.
Friday's Free2Pee "Big Night Out" comes as the country marks the day public houses and other recreational facilities are to be accessible under the third and final phase of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Even small businesses with 15 or fewer employees, which had been exempt from the DDA for the last nine years, now will have to provide "reasonable adjustments" for people with disabilities.
"This is a light-hearted but serious attempt at making service providers aware of the difficulties disabled people have when accessing the toilet when away from home," Will Page, President of Bournemouth University Students' Union, told the BBC.
According to the campaign's website, "Free2Pee wants disabled people, non-disabled people and businesses to work together to eradicate disablism and ensure that disabled people are free to go out and have fun at any club, pub, cinema, restaurant, pool, park and bowling alley in the UK."