Going to a new town with MS, how can I navigate issues like accessibility and toilets?

In this video Mike interviews Steph McElroy who is a Occupational Therapist. The interview was filmed by Grant

Video transcript

MS Reporter :Mike
How can I navigate town without knowing the whereabouts of accessibility venues and toilets?

Steph McElroy, Occupational therapist. Oh, the toilets are always the big one, aren’t they? Okay, I think any new place, it’s about a bit of research beforehand so that you’re not fearful, because that anxiety’s one of the worst things. You think, oh no, I’m going to that place and I have no idea where anything is. So just being aware of the needs, it could be that I can walk a certain distance then I need to sit down, so is there a coffee shop or is there something, you know, close by that I can go and just spend a little while. There is actually, in theory, I think, some – I can’t remember – a council who’s going to develop extra benches along the way so people can have rests in everyday life, which is really quite good and will be definitely beneficial to somebody who has MS. So it is, it’s about just being aware of those sorts of things and knowing where the toilets are, that they’re, you know, on a level that you can access, where the disabled toilets are. You know, when you’re out and about as well, in the countryside, if there’s toilets available, where they are and if they’re close enough for you to actually access them, and so on and so forth.

MS Reporter, Mike. I suppose it’s quite important to make sure that you’re well covered, so I know that I have a Radar key, I have my- I have MS card, I have it in the back of my phone so it’s easy to find. I suppose it’s important that you make sure that you have those kind of things in place, isn’t it?

Steph McElroy, Occupational therapist. Yeah, absolutely. They’re a bit like your comfort blanket in a way. So you’ve got a Radar key – for those maybe who don’t know – it’s a key that’s, quite a large key, it enables you to open quite a lot of public toilets. But it’s about having that with you all the time and having those bits of kit around that actually are going to support you when you’re out and about.

Mike. And they’re easy to get hold of, Radar keys, aren’t they?

Steph McElroy, They are now. They never used to be, but yes, they definitely are now. Just get on the internet, I think.

Mike, Yeah. That was where I got mine from.

Steph, Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

MS Reporter: Mike.
Occupational Therapist: Steph McElroy.

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