Access to Washrooms

Living with Crohn’s or colitis can mean urgent washroom trips 20+ times a day. This severely impacts every facet of life.

  • Symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include bloody diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, fatigue, and debilitating frequency and urgency to empty one’s bowels. 
  • During flare ups, patients can feel like they live in the washroom. Even during times of remission, people with Crohn’s or colitis feel that they can’t be too far away from the washroom.
  • People living with this invisible disability must plan their daily activities around being close to a washroom. This can severely impact work, school, and personal relationships.

We are making tremendous strides to end the pain, missed moments and isolation felt by many. But there is much more to do.

  • Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is working to improve the lives of Canadians with Crohn’s and colitis. In the meantime, for the 250,000 Canadians who live with these diseases, immediate improved washroom access is imperative.
  • Our GoHere Washroom Access Initiative was launched in 2015 with tremendous success. Nearly 300 businesses from across the country have opened their doors and declared washroom access a basic human right.
  • City Halls across Canada, including Mississauga, Barrie, and Calgary have declared their support for the Crohn’s and colitis community by providing access to their municipal government building washrooms. Now it’s time for the federal government to step up.

Call to Action: We ask the Federal Government to demonstrate leadership and legislate washroom access in the Canadians with Disabilities Act.

  • The federal government has made progress in making our society more inclusive, but there is still important work to do.
  • We ask the government to legislate washroom access for federal government buildings and government-operated service facilities not requiring security clearance.
    • This access would be provided to Canadians with Crohn’s, colitis, or other incontinence issues, when reasonable.
  • We ask that the government endorse Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s national GoHere Initiative.
  • We ask that the government announce that provincial, territorial, and municipal governments across Canada follow suit with their own legislation and by-laws.

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 150 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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