London Midland changes its toilet signage for those with ‘invisible’ conditions
Following a successful public campaign in the UK to support charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK (who joined forces with Takeda UK Ltd. to launch ‘Travel with IBD’), London Midland is changing the signage of its accessible toilets to reflect the ‘invisible nature’ of some health conditions.
Whilst someone may appear to look ‘okay’ on the outside, they may be in a daily battle with a serious medical condition and urgently need to use the ‘disabled’ or ‘accessible’ facilities. For instance, a major anxiety for people living with a chronic health condition, like Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, is being refused toilet access or being confronted about why they are using a disabled facility.
“Our aim is to create simply better journeys for all our passengers. We welcome everyone to use our train services,” said London Midland’s commercial director, Richard Brooks. “This small change to the signage on our accessible toilets can make a big difference to some of our customers.”
The new signage will be displayed on all of the accessible toilets throughout the 43 stations, using the tagline message that ‘not all disabilities are visible’. Crohn’s and Colitis UK called for supporters to back the campaign by emailing the bosses of the UK’s airports, rail stations and service stations to ask for their help in the wide adoption of additional accessible toilet signage for accessible travel, helping to end the stigma and distress and help raise awareness that not every disability is visible.
They may not look unwell but are often profoundly affected by debilitating and unseen symptoms that affect all aspects of their lives”
“This announcement is a great step by London Midland towards reducing stigma and raising awareness that not every disability is visible and everyone is grateful to them for making this change so swiftly,” added Dan McLean, director of marketing, communications and membership at Crohn’s and Colitis UK. “People living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be very disadvantaged by the impact of their condition. They may not look unwell but are often profoundly affected by debilitating and unseen symptoms that affect all aspects of their lives. The experience or fear of unpredictable incontinence is very undermining to a person’s confidence and self-esteem and can lead in some cases to the person affected becoming too anxious to leave their home.”
Following the launch of the campaign at the beginning of August, over 42,000 emails have been sent to airports, rail stations and service stations across the UK. London Midland is one of several travel hub operators to come on board with the campaign and have agreed to change its toilet signage.