Gatwick International Airport has announced that it will change the signage of its accessible toilets to reflect the ‘invisible’ nature of some health conditions as part of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week.
The new signage will be displayed on all of the accessible toilets throughout the airport, using the tagline message that ‘Not every disability is visible’. This follows a successful UK public campaign for support by Crohn’s and Colitis UK who joined forces with Takeda UK Ltd. to launch Travel with IBD.
Inspiration for the not every disability is visible campaign is credited to the many people living with Crohn’s or Colitis; notably 11-year-old Grace Warnock. Grace’s Sign can be found in many national locations, including the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh Airport.
We recognise that a significant proportion of the UK population has a hidden disability and – as part of our journey to make Gatwick accessible to all – we are delighted to be able to say we have changed over 50 toilet signs across the airport. Signs for our accessible toilets now include symbols for a man and a woman on the door so that passengers with a disability that isn’t immediately obvious can feel comfortable entering the facility. We also hope that this move will help to raise awareness that a significant proportion of the UK population may have a hidden disability.
This was a fantastic response from Gatwick Airport who clearly ensure passenger safety and travel comfort is a top priority. The scale of operations at the airport are enormous, so we are really impressed by Gatwick's swift and dedicated response that will provide additional wellbeing and support to many travellers.
Crohn’s and Colitis UK called for supporters to back the Travel with IBD campaign by emailing the bosses of the UK’s travel hubs to ask for their help in the wide adoption of accessible toilet signage for travel, helping to end the stigma and distress and help raise awareness that not every disability is visible.
Following the launch of the Travel with IBD campaign at the beginning of August, nearly 50,000 emails have been sent to UK airports, rail stations and service stations across the UK. Gatwick Airport is the largest airport to come on board with the campaign and have agreed to change its toilet signage.
Pictured above (left to right), staff at Gatwick Airport, unless indicated
Julie Ayres, Andy Pule, Dan McLean (Crohn’s and Colitis UK), Stewart Wingate