The topic of this paper, "Inclusive Washrooms: A Solution Through Signage" is universal washrooms and the opportunity for various organizations as well as the design industry to review associated signage to ensure they are meeting the needs of a wider community. Universal washrooms exist in two scenarios – single-use washrooms containing a single toilet and sink in a lockable room, and multi-use facilities with individual enclosed toilet stalls that share a common sink area.
Entro recently assisted the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to create a new standard for signage in healthcare facilities, part of which involved appropriate signage for universal washrooms. Assisting with this standard allowed them to see the valuable opportunities for public discourse and education on inclusivity and acceptance. As there are individuals and groups who may not conform to conventional gender norms, part of this inclusivity includes accommodations of rights to gender identity and expression. It is this context that formed the impetus for a paper that explores and recommends the correct approach to universal washrooms.
Entro’s recommendations and guiding principles for universal washrooms were written in collaboration with their industry partners, clients, and Marni Panas, a recognized diversity and inclusion advocate for LGBT+ issues in Alberta. Marni has been deeply involved in this topic, and was interviewed by CNN from Parliament hill when Bill C-16 was introduced.