By Press Office 19 June 2018

Not all disabilities are visible and all too often, people with hidden disabilities feel stigmatised or are directly challenged when using accessible toilets.

QMU has changed its signage after hearing about a local 13 year old girl, Grace Warnock. Grace has been raising awareness of this issue and working with MSPs and decision makers to get signage on disabled toilets changed from ‘disabled toilets’ to ‘accessible toilets’. 

Grace, who suffers from bowel disease, has campaigned tirelessly to promote theNot every disability is visible’ campaign, which is credited to the many people living with crohn’s or colitis. The aim of the campaign is to change accessible toilet signage across the UK to raise awareness that not every disability is visual, and to improve the quality of life of people with crohns and colitis, as well as other hidden medical conditions.Jane Purves, from QMU’s Registry team and Unison Representative, was inspired by Grace’s work, and has been working with departments across the University to encourage them to adopt Grace’s Sign.  She said: “In a recent survey, 49% of participants said they received negative comments from a stranger, just for using the facilities they need. It can be a distressing experience for people who need to use accessible toilets, so as a result of Grace’s campaign, we wanted to implement a change at QMU, replacing the existing ‘disabled toilet’ signage with ‘accessible toilet’. This falls in line with other organisations, such as the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh International Airport, which have also been influenced by Grace’s work on the campaign and applied the change.

Jane continued: “A small sign can make a big difference, and we hope that the change that we have made at QMU in the academic and Students’ Union buildings, helps to create a more positive environment for staff, students and visitors.”

To read more about the Not every disability is visible’ campaign visit:

www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/get-involved/campaigning/accessible-toilet-signs

To follow Grace’s Signs on Facebook visit www.facebook.com/gracessign10

 

Notes to Editor

For further media information on the report, please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239.

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