Restroom Access Card: What to Expect When Using

Kristi Guillemette | April 7, 2017

This week’s blog post was authored by Sephure inventor and company President, Jennifer Davagian. Here she shares insight into what it is like to use a Global Restroom Access Card based on her own experiences.


It happens to everyone, at some time or another: the urgent need to visit the restroom.  But for people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, immediate access to a public restroom is not always available. Therefore, several states and countries have enacted laws protecting patient access to private restrooms in retail or places of commerce. To find a list of states with Restroom Access Laws please click here.

But how does one ask for immediate restroom access and what questions will be addressed before access is granted?  It is very important to note that the law only provides protection and restroom access if the store or commerce location has MORE than two employees on the sales/commerce floor.  For this reason, the likelihood of being granted access increases the more employees that are visually present in the public area of the store or place of commerce.

How to ask for restroom access:

  • Have your restroom access card out of your wallet and in the palm of your hand.
  • Ask to use the restroom.
  • If the employee says that there are no restrooms or that they are not available to the public, explain that you have a medical access card that provides legal, immediate access to a private business restroom when there are at least 2 employees on the premises.
  • Ask to speak with a manager and again, restate that you have a medical card that outlines legal protection for accessing the restroom.
  • Ask for immediate escort to the restroom as the manager reviews the Restroom Access Card and the law.

What to expect when you ask for restroom access:

  • Sales associates are not trained in the restroom access laws and typically go to a manager for approval.
  • It is customary that you will be escorted to the restroom and the associate will wait for you to take you back to the retail floor.
  • You may be informed that the walkways or stairs are a source of liability and the place of business is not responsible if you slip, fall, or are harmed when not in the public area of the store.
  • People are compassionate and respectful. They do not typically probe for personal information. The restroom access card (designed/distributed) by Sephure, explains that there is a medical need, but does not go into detail.



Upon returning to the retail sales floor with an associate escort, I always say something like: “Thank you for your help.  It is not easy to ask for immediate access to a bathroom but then again, it’s not easy to live with a medical condition that requires the request.”  It expresses the gratitude to the escort, and puts some context to the uncomfortable parts of life that are simple human needs.  We are all human, each with different struggles and needs. As we meet strangers in our daily lives we all can understand and feel compassion for what others are going through.


To Request your free Restroom Access Card click here.