Toilet signs as border markers: Exploring disabled people’s access to space

SLATER, Jen and JONES, Charlotte (2021). Toilet signs as border markers: Exploring disabled people’s access to space. International Journal of Disability and Social Justice, 1 (1), 50-72.

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Signs prescribing our permission to enter or abstain from specific places, such as those on toilet doors, mark murky borders between quasi-public and private space and have profound impacts upon our lives and identities. In this paper we draw on research which centred trans, queer and disabled people's experiences of toilet in/exclusion to explore how the signs on toilet doors shape disabled people's experiences of toilet access away from home and therefore their use of public space more broadly. We argue that the use of the International Symbol of Access (ISA) both delivers a false promise of accessibility and maintains the borders of disability through (re)enforcing a particular public imaginary of disability. We note the forced reliance on toilets in institutional and commercial settings when away from home and argue that, under capitalism, accessibility is persistently restricted by its potential to be lucrative.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
Page Range: 50-72
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2021 15:57
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 13:00

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