Trans Academic

Safe and Accessible Restrooms Assessment

image-left In Spring 2014, the Johns Hopkins Grad Group and I were awarded a Diversity Innovation Grant by the Diversity Leadership Council (DLC) to conduct an inventory of campus restrooms on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. The project worked with the Facilities Department and campus organizations to improve restroom access particularly for transgender and gender-variant students, women, people with physical disabilities, and parents with young children. I have also worked with the Graduate Parental Concerns Working Group to identify potential lactation spaces on campus and consulted with undergraduates who carried out their own project to provide all-gender and accessible restrooms in campus dorms. As a result of the Safe and Accessible Restrooms Assessment, Johns Hopkins created its first gender-inclusive restrooms and I was awarded a Diversity Recognition Award.

Our campus restroom survey was inspired by other restroom projects, in particular the checklist created by People in Search of Safe and Accessible Restrooms at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Their website seems to have been taken down, but you can still view a copy of their restroom checklist from the Internet Archive. The Johns Hopkins survey was adapted and revised based on feedback from an online survey and “Pottytalk” event about specific issues with restrooms on the Hopkins campus. Johns Hopkins had a number of distinct restroom issues related to having been a men’s-only institution until 1970. For example in a few buildings women’s restrooms were less numerous or more difficult to locate. In some cases single-stall women’s restrooms were paired with multi-stall men’s restrooms, so an important concern of the project was not eliminating women’s restrooms when identifying gender-inclusive facilities.

In the fall of 2014 the Safe and Accessible Restroom Project was covered in an article in the JHU Hub online magazine.

If you are interested in restroom access at your college or university and would like to learn more about my experience with the project, please send me an email.

Trans Resources at Johns Hopkins

A listing of gender-inclusive restrooms on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus is available through the LGBTQ Office of Student Life. This site also has a resource page explaining how to update your information in the Johns Hopkins computer systems to reflect the name you use (sometimes called “preferred name”).