Inclusive Washrooms & Change Rooms

A gender-inclusive washroom is a washroom that anyone can use, regardless of their gender identity or presentation.

A universal washroom is a fully-accessible and barrier-free washroom that includes:

  • All-gender and single-stalled toilets
  • Automatic doors and enough space to accommodate mobility devices
  • Grab bars and patient lifts
  • Reachable sinks, hand dryers and paper towels
  • Adult change table
  • Emergency buttons

Everyone deserves to pee in peace. Yet research shows that washrooms are often indicated as one of the least safe space by trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people.

Gender-inclusive washrooms are an important part of making the campus safe, accessible, and welcoming for those who don’t feel safe or welcome in washrooms designated for men or women.

This includes many trans, gender fluid, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people. Gender-inclusive washrooms can decrease people’s anxiety and fear while using the toilet as there is less of a chance for physical or verbal assault.

Important note: Not every trans person wants to use gender-inclusive washrooms - many trans men and women want to use gender-specific washrooms that match their gender.

Make sure that gender-specific washrooms are welcoming, by training staff, adding signage (see examples from the UBC Wayfinding Signage Standards and Guidelines or the City of Vancouver), or reminding the users of your space not to make assumptions about whether someone is in the ‘right’ washroom.

A universal washroom provides people of all abilities with dignity and privacy. This includes people with mobility devices, people who require personal support workers or a service dog, people who have experienced trauma in washrooms, and many other scenarios.

UBC offers single-user gender-inclusive washrooms available at both UBC Vancouver and the UBC Okanagan.

The maps need to be updated to include information that indicates which of these single user washrooms have gender-specific signage and which ones may be locked. We will also be adding information that shows the type of fixtures and equipment that are present in washrooms.

At the UBC Vancouver campus, the UBC Aquatic centre has a gender-inclusive universal change room in addition to gender-specific change rooms. You can find more information on the UBC Aquatic centre website.

There are also two single-user universal change rooms available at the UBC Student Recreation Centre (SRC) on the UBC Vancouver campus.

UBC does not always use consistent gender-inclusive signage. The Equity & Inclusion Office is working with relevant stakeholders to encourage the use of consistent signage in alignment with UBC Wayfinding Signage Standards and Guidelines (see UBC Brand Icon Library on page 19).

In the case of single-stall washrooms, the preference is that they be marked as gender-inclusive (with the toilet/washroom icon rather than the gendered figures).

See below to view the signage for various washrooms consistent with the UBC Brand.