accessible restrooms

Hi Tumblr! Got a question for Gavin Grimm?

Gavin Grimm is an 18-year-old youth activist fighting for equality for transgender students. After his school board denied him access to the boys’ restroom on the basis of his trans identity, Gavin, with the support of his family and the ACLU, sued Gloucester County School District for his right to access to the restroom like every other boy in his high school. His case made it all the way to the Supreme Court this year, and is currently back down before the 4th Circuit Court.

Gavin will be on Tumblr to answer your questions in an Answer Time right here on @action on Friday, June 23 at 12pm ET / 9am PT

Submit your questions for Gavin to our Ask Box now!
The Trump Administration Just Withdrew Guidelines That Protected Transgender Students
Ending guidance from the Obama administration, Trump's new policy aims to allow states to establish their own rules for transgender students in some settings — such as requiring transgender boys to...
By Dominic Holden

The Trump administration on Wednesday issued new guidelines that roll back an Obama administration policy that had been designed to reduce anti-transgender discrimination in public schools.

In issuing new school guidance, the Department of Justice and Department of Education sent a letter to public schools that said the departments “have decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved. The Departments thus will not rely on the views expressed within them.”

“Please note that this withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying, or harassment,” it stated.

Originally issued last May, the Obama-era guidance told schools they “must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.” Among the directives, it said transgender students must be allowed access to gender-appropriate restrooms and locker rooms.

Continue Reading.
Transgender woman sues Idaho for refusing to let her change her birth certificate
The birth certificate she has now led to her being called 'tr*nny' and 'f*ggot,' a lawsuit alleges in federal court.
By Dominic Holden

Last week in Idaho, a transgender woman identified as F.V. filed a lawsuit against the state seeking the right to change her gender marker on her birth certificate. Idaho is among the handful of states that don’t explicitly allow transgender people to change their birth certificates. 

The woman has suffered harassment by state officials for trying to make the change to her gender marker. 

“The incorrect gender on F.V.’s birth certificate has exposed her to hostility when she visited the social security office,” the suit says. “After seeing her birth certificate, staff at the office referred to her as a ‘tr*nny,’ a derogatory term that disclosed F.V.’s transgender status to others in the waiting area. One of these individuals then called F.V. a 'f*ggot’ as she was leaving the office.”

Peter C. Renn, a Lambda Legal attorney who filed the case on behalf of F.V., told BuzzFeed News, “It is especially dangerous for the government to not recognize people for who they are because the government leads by example.”

Transgender people rely on birth certificates to update other forms of government identification, he said, and when it shows a different sex marker than the gender they present, it outs them. “Whether we are talking about access to restrooms or violence against transgender people, so much of the discriminations stems from a refusal to recognize their gender.”

Oof. Rooting for her and everyone else who’s been denied this right. 

Many transgender young people today are hurting by the terrible message sent tonight by the Trump Administration, which rescinded existing guidance that helped public schools navigate questions of basic dignity for transgender students, including pronouns and proper restroom access. We urge every transgender student to understand that millions of Americans support them, will continue to speak out for them, and will fight for them. Reblog to spread the word.

Protect Trans Kids

Yesterday the Departments of Education and Justice withdrew the protections that former President Obama had instated to protect transgender students. Under Title IX, these protections allowed transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, therefore protecting them from discrimination based upon sex. 

What you need to know as a trans person: Most importantly, even though the guidance has been withdrawn, that doesn’t change the fact that under Title IX, transgender students have a right to be treated according to their gender identity, including when it comes to restroom access. But taking the guidance away will likely make school harder for many students. It might make changing policies at unsupportive school districts an uphill battle for many students. Read this helpful FAQ page from the National Center for Transgender Equality on what this withdrawal means and how to address issues of discrimination here.  

How you can stand up and support trans people: It is more important than ever that cisgender people come forward as outspoken allies of transgender people. Advocate in your schools for gender neutral or all gender bathrooms where trans and gender non-conforming students will feel safe. Speak out if you see a transgender student being harassed or made to feel unwelcome in a restroom or locker room. If a trans student feels as though they are being discriminated against, stand by them and help them file a complaint. Lastly, read up on 10 tips for being a trans ally.

This all comes at a crucial time for trans rights, as the Supreme Court will be hearing the case of Gavin Grimm next month, which will likely inform how public schools will accommodate transgender students across the nation.

A short guide for the inclusion of trans, intersex and gender non-conforming youth in the classroom

1. DON’T WAIT to have an openly trans, intersex or gender non-conforming student before adapting your teaching or behaviour!

Since school can be a very dangerous space for those minorities, they are often invisible in the classroom. Either you don’t know they are there or they haven’t come out yet/they don’t know it themselves. Those minorities being invisible, it is important to be aware of their needs.

2. Use inclusive language and ressources

If you are in a position of authority, chances are that everything you say has an impact on children. Words have the power to make things exist in the mind of people.

I’m sure you can think of something better than “boys and girls” to address a group of children! What if I’m neither? Or a mix of the two?

Try to avoid polarizing sexes (male or female), as it erases the existence of intersex people. Also, some boys have vulvas, and some girls have penises. Be careful when talking about what makes a girl or a boy!

3. Call-out anything that is wrongfully binary or cissexist.

As a teacher, I know too well how impossible it is to have a classroom free of gender essentialism and intersex erasure.

It is everywhere! In books, in manuals, in educational movies… The thing is to not let it go unnoticed. If you hear, see or read anything that you consider problematic, discuss it with your students.

While it is unlikely that gender- and sex-inclusive manuals will be available anytime soon, it is still possible to educate with materials that invisibilize trans, intersex and gender non-conforming youth by calling it out!

4. Make gender segregated spaces inclusive

Do you know how dangerous restrooms or changing rooms can be for trans or gender non-conforming youth?

Trans and gender non-conforming students need access to their preferred restroom or changing room. It is not a caprice! Violence and aggressions are more likely to happen there than anywhere else, and those students are often easy targets for bullies.

Make it clear in the school policies that trans and gender non-conforming are welcome in those spaces. Inclusiveness has to be made visible for students and parents or tutors.

Using the infirmary or staff restroom may be a temporary solution, but by no means a long term plan, since it stigmatizes and marginalizes trans and gender non-conforming students.

5. Protect gender identity and expression in your classroom and in the school policies

Your students need to know they have rights regarding their gender expression and identity. Include rules against discrimination based on these in your classroom’s charter.

Officially recognizing these rights and making them visible might also empower closeted or questioning youth, who’ll feel safer at school.

6. Have the staff trained

Not everybody is comfortable with discussing issues such as sex or gender. Make sure that the school’s staff is trained so that your school can be a safer space for trans, intersex and gender non-conforming students.

There are many trans organizations that provide staff training. If there are none where you live, parents of trans, intersex or gender non-conforming children can be a great source of knowledge too!

Please reblog with your favourite resources!

The Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era directive aimed at protecting transgender students’ rights. Under the guidelines, schools are required to treat transgender students according to their stated gender identity, and either allow access to restrooms and locker rooms for the gender they identify with or provide private facilities if requested. Students’ gender identities were protected under Title IX requirements, which forbid federally funded schools from discriminating on the basis of sex.‪ We must continue to speak up and defend the #Transgendercommunity! Image via - @damianimated

Laverne’s Cox argument about how trans women having access to the women’s restroom means being allowed to exist in public space is such bullshit. He’s pretending that having a safe bathroom to use must be the women’s bathroom and that’s a lie. Clearly any separate restroom would be safe. If there were plenty of readily accessible single stall restrooms, those would obviously be safe for trans people (and anyone, really), making it safe to exist in public spaces. 

His argument is like a perversion of the reason women have their own restrooms separate from men in the first place; so we can exist in public spaces. Public restrooms used to be male dominated, and women were forced to stay home (like good women should) because there was nowhere that was safe to pee in public. Women could be assaulted/attacked for using a public restroom dominated by men. The reason women even have our own restrooms is for our safety (and because stores wanted to encourage us to shop by creating these restrooms). 

Why is he explicitly demanding access to the women’s room? Because it validates him as a woman? Because it’s supposedly safer than the men’s room? Of course, if any man who claimed he identifies as a woman could go to the women’s restroom, then that makes the women’s room very unsafe for women, and that’s exactly what this does. But what I always hear in response to this is that that’ll never happen, men and trans women don’t attack women in the restroom (even though they do), and if it does happen, you should just report it. …the reason women have separate restrooms is to greatly decrease our chances of being attacked in the first place. Reporting it won’t un-attack us. 

(Yes I’m using the pronoun “he” because if I use “she”, that’s starting out on his terms and agreeing that he is female, which he is not)

anonymous asked:

Question: what's your take on gender minorities using the disabled stalls? Where I live, bathrooms are divided into male + female + disability-friendly. I feel HORRIBLE for using the disablity-friendly one and do my best to wait til I get home. I can't go to either of the gendered bathrooms (it's basically choosing between risking getting beat up and being yelled at due to looking androgynous, with the occasional stares and someone calling mall security bc they weren't sure what I was).

Holy smokes! Friend, you can use whatever bathroom space you want if it keeps you safe and comfortable. Hell, you can use my bathroom if you want.

Once more for the folks in the back: I don’t care how many limbs you have or how well they work: If using an accessible / family restroom space keeps you safe, use that space.


Celebrating improvements to the Bruneau Canyon Overlook

Story by Heather Tiel-Nelson, Twin Falls District Public Affairs Specialist

In June 2017, 100 people drove 24 miles southeast of the small town of Bruneau to celebrate recent improvements to the Canyon Overlook site.  The overlook provides spectacular views of the Bruneau- Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness and the Bruneau Wild and Scenic River Area, and now boasts an ADA accessible pathway, restroom facilities, interpretation and an improved overlook site.  This Wilderness area represents a significant collaborative process that brought the Tribes, ranchers, BLM and environmental organizations together to protect its open spaces in what is known as the Owyhee Initiative. 

A notably remote and beautiful area with breathtaking vistas, it is an important area for the Shoshone- Paiute people, who honored those gathered with a drumming ceremony. According to Idaho State Director Tim Murphy, “We are proud of these improvements and the opportunity they provide to tell the story of the Owyhee Initiative, a truly collaborative effort without which we would not be standing here taking in the views of the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness.”

The improvements mark the completion of Phase One; Phase two will include additional ADA accessible trails and a second overlook site.

Click here to watch BLM Idaho’s video of the ribbon cutting.
How to Be Truly Inclusive of Non-Binary Genders at Work

So I thought this article did not go nearly far enough (way too 101, and undetailed; also, inclusive of “genders” not *people*?), so I wrote up my own guide:

- Pronouns aren’t a be-all end-all, but they are a basic courtesy.

- Restroom access is fundamental: Make gender-neutral restrooms available, allow “switching” between differently-gendered restrooms, and never point to restroom choice as a sign of a “real”/“aligned” gender. Genderfluid people exist, and “pick the one most appropriate and stick with it” is *not* reasonable accommodation.

- Dress codes are similarly an immediate major stumbling block. Be clear about expectations (when is a belt needed?) without tying them to gender: If need be, just describe two major “styles.” And if there are on-site locker rooms/changing areas, see above about restroom access and gender.

- Years of coworkers/employers “forgetting” or refusing to acknowledge a non-binary person’s gender identity points to need for a) ongoing training, both on hire and throughout employment; b) proper procedures for reporting and having something done, without backfiring on whistleblowers. Consult with organizations like the Transgender Law Center, or find local trans/gender non-conforming/non-binary workplace education workshop providers.

- This one shouldn’t have to be said, but it really does: Make absolutely clear no one is to pry, speculate, or otherwise talk about people’s bodies, genitals, and medical status. Never assume someone hasn’t “started anything” or that you can tell their birth assignment - even if you know their current legal marker. Firmly shut down all “curiosity” as inappropriate in the workplace.

- Always use the person’s pronouns and name in reports and internal writing. The only place that needs legal gender and legal name is actual legal paperwork - and no, documents that “might be confusing if needed in court but under a different name” is not acceptable. Just write a simple “AKA” note explaining that despite being legally known as Z, this person *is* and will be referred to as who they are, and leave that in their file. (Yes, this means anyone who writes a report must not misgender their coworker/employee. Yes, training needs to be for everyone, period.)

Those are the raw basic necessities. Want to be more proactively inclusive? Try these:

- Update your paperwork and database software, too. Never have forms/records default to printing legal gender. Have a separate, higher-priority field to track *actual* gender identity. Same for preferred vs legal name.

- Same for honorific: Let people select “no title” or an alternative like Mx. or Per. or Ind. or M. or something else.

- Check your wording. Update both written and spoken language:
* “he or she”; “s/he” ➡️ they
* “ladies and gentlemen”; “guys (and girls)” ➡️ distinguished guests; everyone

- Actually shift your culture. Learn about “jokes” that are extremely hurtful (like how “men in dresses” contributes to the murder of trans women) and make them unacceptable. Keep an eye on jokes about gender in general and how they make people feel - and how they might be assuming gender = biology.

- Consider observing annual events like the Transgender Day of Remembrance for the year’s murdered, or the Trans Day of Celebration. Just a mention can be meaningful. And be understanding if a trans or non-binary employee wants that day off or is emotionally affected around that time.

Most of all, firmly establish that non-binary people are not to be resented for who they are, and are not unreasonable or seeking “special treatment” for needing basic accommodations to be respected and able to participate on an equal level in this heavily binary-gendered world.

anonymous asked:

Any back to school advice for brand new wheelchair users? (your account is awesome btw)

I wish I could give you LOADS of advice, but unfortunately, I haven’t returned to school in my wheelchair yet and so I am probably not the best person to ask. Some quick tips that I’ve been able to think of tho:

1.) If you’re using a manual chair don’t put heavy things on the back (You’ll fall over) instead buy something like this, that allows you to put heavy things on your front, or ask for accommodations! 

2.) Don’t be afraid to ask for accommodations! They make school SO much easier! 

3.) If possible, meet up with your teachers prior to school to discuss if you have any particular needs, or any etiquette that you would like them to follow.

4.) Rock your chari! Speciality chairs sometimes have color, design, and tattoo options that can make your chair fit your personality. You can also buy seat cushion covers, or place stickers on your back rest (if it’s plastic or carbon fiber) and get grips for your wheels that have colors, and light up castor wheels! 

5.) Scope out the school and find all the accessible restrooms, ramps, etc. When I was using a rental chair at my college, I had a tough time finding the accessible places and wish I had paid more attention to accessibility when I could walk! 

6.) If possible, make friends with other wheelchair users in your area! I’m sure they could have lots more tips than me (I’m fairly new at this too.) 

Hope some of these help! If you have any more specific questions, I’d be happy to try and answer them. Life on wheels can be tricky at first, but it’s really not all that daunting once you get used to it, and it can help you be able to keep up with your classmates (depending on your chair, you might even be rolling faster than they are walking!)


friskthelover-deactivated201709  asked:

About disabled bathrooms. Are they there just for wheelchair users, or can people, like, in my case, with epilepsy use them also?

Accessible / barrier free restroom facilities are built for folks whose needs are not met by the standard restroom facilities. If standard restroom facilities don’t meet your needs (this includes things like personal safety), use the accessible / barrier free facility. If standard restroom facilities meet your needs, use the standard facilities and leave the accessible / barrier free facilities available for those who need it.

As an additional clarification (for those who may need it): “The other 7 stalls in the restroom were occupied” is not a good reason to use what is usually the only accessible stall / facility available. Just wait for a regular facility to open up.

Yesterday I had an autistic patient with psychogenic polydipsia. This is a really unpleasant condition where people feel compelled to drink lots of water.  Whatever it is - and I don’t know if anyone knows for sure, it doesn’t seem to be just an idiosyncrasy, it might have to do with biological changes to the body’s water balance system - it overrides the normal protection that most people have against drinking too much water. Left untreated it can be fatal since the excess water causes cellular swelling that cuts off blood vessels.

There are a couple of experimental treatments but none of them worked on my patient and he kept getting hospitalized with various nasty symptoms of water intoxication. And he was too intellectually disabled to understand what was going on and drink less water voluntarily. The treatment of last resort in a situation like this is water restriction, which sounds mean but is the only way to prevent these people from killing or permanently brain-damaging themselves.

But water restriction is really hard. If you break the water faucets, someone with polydipsia will drink from the shower. If you break the shower, they’ll drink from the toilets. The only way to make it work is to keep them in a special locked unit, all the time, where they have no access to any water source (including a bathroom) except with a staff member who watches them like a hawk.

This is legally difficult, because there are various laws about institutions for psychiatric patients, and they have certain rights, and not letting them have water or free access to a restroom is one of those rights, and it’s complicated to convince judges that “no, seriously, if we did this, they would die”. So these people end up in hospitals a lot, since hospitals are better equipped to restrict people and have good legal teams.

So we’ve been keeping this poor polydipsia patient at my hospital while his institution tries to figure out what to do, and it sucks. He doesn’t understand the situation at all and we can’t explain it because he has a mental age of maybe 4. He’s constantly screaming for water - I have no doubt that to him it feels like he’s dying of thirst, even though we let him drink right up to the upper safe limit for human water consumption. It’s just a sort of awkward “Uh, please excuse that guy over there screaming that he’s really thirsty and we won’t allow him to have any water, I mean, all of that is technically true, but please ignore it anyway, it’s hard to explain”. And I hate to inflict that kind of suffering on anybody, but I also prefer my patients non-dead. Sometimes there is no non-horrible option and you just have to accept that you are doing something horrible and try to live with it.

Anyway, this was why I was especially annoyed by yesterday’s round of the traditional Tumblr “there is no such thing as high-functioning vs. low-functioning autistics and it is all just an ableist plot to stigmatize people.” No, people, psychopathology is really bad.
Obama Administration Takes A Last Stand To Protect Transgender Bathroom Rights
The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to step in. Federal lawyers said in a brief filed Friday with the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that the previous ruling was incorrect and overly broad.
By Dominic Holden

“With two weeks left, the Obama administration has asked a federal appeals court to throw out a lower court’s decision that suspended policies designed to protect transgender people’s access to restrooms - a sign the current leadership of the Justice Department will close shop mid-fight on one of its signature LGBT issues.

The case at issue, brought by Texas and several other states last year, centers around guidance documents that say transgender students and workers should be granted access to restrooms and other single-sex facilities that match their gender identity. The federal agencies behind the guidance argue the rights are protected by existing civil rights laws that ban discrimination on the basis of sex.

US District Court Judge Reed O’Connor, however, sided with the states by ruling that the guidance likely exceeded the executive branch’s authority because there was no rule-making process. He issued a temporary injunction in August that applied nationwide, suspending enforcement of the guidance documents. His order also blocked agencies from starting new enforcement actions and barred government lawyers from raising certain arguments in ongoing lawsuits.

With their remedies waning in the lower court - and time running out - the Justice Department’s Civil Division made three arguments to the Fifth Circuit.

The Justice Department said the case is not ripe for judicial review because the government did not violate the Administrative Procedure Act, as Texas and the other states claimed. The guidance for schools and workplaces are not final acts by any agency, the appeal says, and therefore did not require a rule-making process under the APA. The Justice Department has asked the Fifth Circuit to throw out the injunction and instruct the lower court to dismiss the case.”

Read the full piece and see the administrations filing here

Donald Trump Is a Nightmare for Transgender Students

Donald Trump’s election marks a new era of conflict for transgender students nationally. This article seeks to provide some commentary on Trump’s upcoming effects on transgender students across the country. Among Trump and Pence’s campaign’s prominent and most concerning promises was the appointment of a conservative Supreme Court justice, who would inevitably roll back protections for trans students. The legal case of Gavin Grimm, a young transgender man denied access to facilities with his own gender, has reached the Supreme Court. In October the conservative justices blocked his access to men’s restrooms “as a courtesy” while he waits to for his hearing. His groundbreaking case will be heard sometime next year with a Trump-appointed nominee who will tip the court to the conservatives. In the most likely scenario, this will mandate that states define their own laws on transgender students’ access to programs and facilities that match our gender identities as they have been. This works well for more progressive states like California that currently have legislation in place allow trans students access to programs and facilities with our gender. However, the majority of states do not have this legislation, which many were hopeful the supreme court would provide federally. Roughly 20 states have even introduced legislation that would bar transgender people from using facilities and public accommodations that match our genders. The Trump era will be a time of uncertainty for transgender students as we experience elevated violence under the increased national anti-transgender rhetoric. Read the full article here

Today’s Gender of the Day is: A dot, a line, and a wheelchair

[image description: a Men’s wheelchair-accessible restroom sign except the body of the man is missing, leaving only the head]

anonymous asked:

Do you know any reliable ways to see if a college is lgbtqia friendly?

The most reliable way is by talking to MOGAI kids who attend that school already. The rest is sort of hit and miss, especially with intersectional issues (ie, a school might have an LGBT club but is it actually LGBT, or LG?).

Also, I hate to say it, but if you’re in the USA, avoid religiously affiliated colleges like the plague, even if you’re religious. Religiously affiliated schools have won court battles regarding transphobia because they’ve made it about trans people imposing on their religious freedom.

You can ask or observe the following, though:
-do they have gender neutral restrooms, and are those restrooms accessible, or are they That One Room Halfway Across Campus With Only One Stall?
-if the dorms are single sex (ie, girl’s dorm, boy’s dorm, no mixing), ask housing what their policy is with trans people.
-find out whether they have an LGBT group, and maybe contact a few people there and ask them about things.
-some colleges, instead of having M/F boxes on their college applications, have a blank space where you can write anything. That is a plus sign.
-look at their diversity statistics. Schools that are more diverse are more likely to be good around MOGAI people. Surprisingly, having a school full of cishet white boys makes it easy for them to discriminate the different people.
-find out how active that LGBT group is in the community. 
-find out how MOGAI friendly the city is, and also how MOGAI friendly the state is. Most of the time, a large amount of the student population are in-state because out-of-state tuition is expensive. No matter how great a school sells itself, if it’s in the bible belt it’s probably not going to be all that wonderful.
-find out whether they have antidiscriminatory student policies, and how those policies are worded (ie, they might have a policy protecting sexual orientations, but do they have one for gender)
-research whether they’ve had issues in the past with MOGAI students.

BREAKING NEWS!!! Obama Administration to Issue Decree on Transgender Access to School Restrooms
The letter to school districts does not have the force of law. But it contains an implicit threat of possible lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Matt Apuzzo



“The Obama administration is planning to issue a sweeping directive telling every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

A letter to school districts will go out Friday, fueling a highly charged debate over transgender rights in the middle of the administration’s legal fight with North Carolina over the issue. The declaration — signed by Justice and Education Department officials — will describe what schools should do to ensure that none of their students are discriminated against.

It does not have the force of law, but it contains an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.”

Read the full piece here <– HISTORY IS BEING MADE RIGHT NOW, READ IT!!!