Canadian airport provides first bathroom for service animals

Everyone knows traveling comes with challenges. Finding a hotel on a budget, adjusting to a different climate or time zone, booking sight-seeing reservations weeks or months in advance – these are struggles that accompany almost every out-of-town trip, whether you are visiting family for a few days or traveling the world for a few months. For people with disabilities, the challenges of travelling can be exacerbated by unaccommodating travel realities.

Now, however, one Canadian airport is working to make travel more accessible for people with disabilities who use service animals. The Vancouver Airport, or YVR, introduced “pet-only indoor washrooms” this past June, according to The Vancouver Sun. The washroom is intended for service animals, and will save people with disabilities traveling with service pets from needing to leave and re-enter security just to take their dog out for a break between flights.

CEO of B.C. Guide Dog Services William Thornton told The Vancouver Sun, “With a guide dog you want a place to take the dog where you don’t have to leave the building and go through security. You can now give the dog a chance to have a bathroom break. It is a great initiative. There are washrooms for people and there should be washrooms for dogs.”

“This is one more way there are no barriers for people with disabilities who travel with a service dog. This is the first of its kind and it is possible other airports will follow,” added YVR Director of Customer Care, Reg Krake.

The service animal bathroom is located in the U.S. terminal.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.