Disabilities and differently abled qualities aren’t always visible to outsiders. My disability is invisible, sometimes I get some quizzical looks when I enter a disabled loo with my key. It doesn’t bother me. It’s not usually the loo attendants they’re usually friendly and give me a smile. It’s others who may be thinking I’m jumping a queue or cheating in some way. I’m not I have a card bearing a photo, stating my name and that I’m differently abled to 50%. Considering how often and how urgently I need to use a loo I’m exceedingly grateful for both card and key.
I’ve been thinking about it recently as I’ve just had to renew the card I’ve had since 2018. I was expecting a wait but in a just over a week the new one arrived in the post. I didn’t even know I was entitled to it until I read about it in a German bladder cancer self-help forum.
Apparently, 50% is standard usually for 5 years or while in active treatment. If things progress to having the bladder replaced by a stoma or a neobladder set up, then a higher percentage can be applied for.
Having a card means you can apply for a universal loo key for Europe that magically opens disabled loos without having to pay.
As the cheery slogan says, “Bladder cancer, it’s not for the weak!” with frequent cystoscopies at the very least and treatment, operations, scans, and chemotherapy likely it’s a long haul. If you or a loved one is fighting bladder cancer, it’s worth checking whether getting some form of disability acknowledged is advantageous.
Any perks don’t compensate for the suffering and the anxiety, but they might be worth having anyway. As well as the loo key I also benefit from reduced entrance fees to museums and pools, a tax rebate and a few extra days holiday.
What’s the situation where you live?