Woman takes on Starbucks over ‘dehumanising’ toilets and wins

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A woman left frustrated over the “dehumanising” disabled toilet at a branch of Starbucks has taken on the international coffee chain and won.

Angela Sandland visited her local Starbucks on January 14 and said she was shocked at the lack of accessibility for disabled customers.

The 45-year-old, who walks with a stick due to a mobility issue, said she struggled to access the bathroom at the Harvey Road branch in Allenton, Derby, because two hands were needed to open the door.

The wellbeing expert also said she noticed a number of other problems, from the process of getting the code to using the toilets themselves.

Talking about her personal experience, she told Derbyshire Live: “I’m leaning on a stick, and then I have to use two handles.

“What people don’t realise when you have a stick is that it takes one arm and hand completely out of the equation.

“The idea of having to use two hands on a disabled toilet door is crazy to me.

“I’m a disability advocate and I’m disabled myself so I pick up on all these things.

“I went to use the disabled toilet with my walking stick, and the first thing that struck me was how high the keypad was.

“A wheelchair user would definitely struggle to use that.

“You need two hands to open that toilet door, so how on earth would you wheel yourself and open the door at the same time?

“Not only is it like that on the outside of the toilet, but it’s also the same on the inside of the toilet, so you’d need someone to help you get out too.

“I just think it’s disgraceful and dehumanising.

“I get that Starbucks might put these keypads in because people are using drugs or whatever, I get it.

“But firstly there’s no need to have the keypad that high up.

“A lot of disabled toilets use radar locks, it’s a national scheme in place to help disabled people.

“Like you can go to the council and get a radar lock so I don’t understand why they didn’t do that.”

@deerheartwoman Do better Starbucks!! Theres reasons locks have been added – yes – BUT this is dehumanising for disabled people and difficult for anyone with children. @starbucksuk #disabilityaccess #disabled #amenities #disabledtoilets #disabledaccess #carers #wheelchairusers #crohns #colitis #ibs #visuallyimpaired #spoonies #invisibleillness #chronicillness ♬ Oh No – Kreepa

Angela took to TikTok the same day to share her frustration with her followers, showing a picture of the door, and pointing out the accessibility issues.

She added that those who want to use the disabled toilet need to queue up to get a code on a piece of paper.

In response to Angela’s concerns, Starbucks has since agreed to change the keypad on the door to a radar lock.

A spokesperson said: “Starbucks is committed to creating a culture of warmth and belonging in our stores, to provide an environment that is accessible for everyone.

“We’re sorry to hear about this customer’s experience in our store and we can confirm that we will be installing a RADAR lock as a priority to provide inclusive facilities for our customers.”

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