A few years ago, I was in a retail chain store and the person in front of me at the cashier asked to use the bathroom. The cashier said, "We do not have a bathroom." So, when it was my turn to cash out I said, “You have a just don't let the public use it?" She answered me, “Yes.” I thought to myself that this would be a great teaching moment.

I politely explained the Restroom Access Act is law in Massachusetts, and a bit about what that meant. The cashier’s response to me felt very rude and she didn't seem to care. So, I wrote to the complaint department of that store and reached out to my contacts at the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation in Massachusetts.

Two days later I received a phone call from the OWNER of whole retail chain! He told me he was unaware of the law and was faxing a copy to all his stores immediately. He assured me that this would never happen again!

Advocating for Ally’s Law

So, please, if your state is listed, and you see a sign saying (or are told there is) NO public restroom, take a moment to educate the establishment about the law. If your state is not listed...write to your congressional representatives and/or contact the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation chapter in your state. Your voice can make a difference!

No Ally’s Law? Still Advocating

Ideas by Justin Vandergrift, former Parent Working Group Co-Chair

One resource every IBD patient should have is a Restroom Access Card. These are available for free at and are a great way to ask for access to restrooms that are otherwise off limits.

Read Justin’s full post about restroom access & Ally’s Law

Have a Restroom Access Experience or Idea? Join the conversation by posting a comment below.



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