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New signs on disabled toilets in Tesco stores to recognise ‘invisible’ illnesses

Catia Fernandes

Compliance Manager
Caterham

18 Jan 2017

Tesco puts new signs on disabled toilets to support colleagues and customers with ‘invisible’ illnesses. One colleague, Catia Fernandes, shares her experience:

Living with an invisible disability

I was just about to take my GCSEs when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I had never heard of it before and neither had my friends and family. I tried to go about my daily life as usual but it soon became apparent everything was going to change. The sudden need to go to the toilet is a recognised symptom of Crohn’s. It meant that everyday things I took for granted, such as exercising and eating, became a lot more challenging. I’ve had to adapt to be able to manage my condition but this doesn’t mean I can’t lead a normal life.

Understanding colleagues

My career is very important to me. I joined Tesco in 2002 and have recently been promoted to Compliance Manager in our Caterham superstore. I ensure the store is safe both for our customers and our colleagues. My illness means I sometimes have to change my working hours to fit around hospital appointments. I’m very grateful for the support and understanding of my colleagues at Tesco.

Changing signage

My experiences living with Crohn’s means I am delighted that Tesco is changing the signs on its disabled toilets. I'm registered as disabled but most people wouldn’t know from looking at me, they expect a disability to be something more visible.

Tesco changing the disabled toilet signs in over 700 stores is a fantastic way to raise awareness. It will help people understand that you can’t always see someone’s disability, whatever it may be. For many people like me this is a little help that will make a big difference.

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