Delaware Introduces Restroom Access Act (Ally’s Law) in General Assembly

March 14, 2014

Yesterday, through the social media of Ally Bain, an advocate for the restroom access laws that popularly bear her name, IBS Impact learned that a Restroom Access Act has been introduced in the 147th General Assembly in the state of Delaware. According to various media sources, this appears to be the latest attempt over several years to pass such legislation in Delaware..

The current effort, which is known, as HB 245, has State Representative Trey Paradee (D-29) as its primary sponsor in the Delaware House of Representatives. He is currently joined by seven co-sponsors in the House. In the Delaware State Senate, the bill’s primary sponsor is State Senator Bethany Hall-Long (D-10) Similar to most existing restroom access laws in other states,  the proposed legislation provides that customers of a “retail establishment,” who have an “eligible medical condition” that requires immediate access to restroom facilities must be allowed, on request, to use an employee restroom during normal business hours, if there are at least two employees present at the time, there is no public restroom available on the premises, and allowing use of the facility would not pose a health or safety hazard to the customer or an obvious security risk to the business. Examples of eligible medical conditions specifically mentioned in this draft of the bill are Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, any other inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, use of an ostomy device or any other medical condition that requires immediate access to a restroom. Acceptable forms of proof that may be requested are a written note from a physician or other licensed medical professional or an identification card issued by a national organization for the medical condition or a local health department that states the person has the condition. The current text of HB 245 is linked here.

Please keep in mind that as it is still pending legislation, there may be changes made in the process of consideration. The bill has just been introduced, and must be passed by the General Assembly and signed by Delaware’s governor in order to become law.  IBS Impact encourages Delaware residents who are also U.S. citizens to contact their State Representatives and State Senators to express their support for the eventual enactment of this bill.

According to a press release on the website of the Delaware House Democrats, the issue of restroom access for individuals with medical conditions was brought to State Representative Paradee’s attention by a 15 year old girl with Crohn’s disease, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and her parents. Their advocacy appears broadly similar to the past efforts of Ally Bain, who also has Crohn’s disease. Many years ago, Ally had an accident in a store after her request to use the employee restroom was refused, despite her explaining repeatedly that she had an urgent medical need. After that humiliating experience, Ally successfully worked with legislators in her home state of Illinois to pass one of the earliest state laws to address this issue. Ally is now an adult and a student in law school, but was only 14 years old when she began her quest, and she inspired others, many of them also teenagers, to join Ally in advocating for similar legislation in their own states. IBS Impact commends the willingness of these young people to speak publicly of their needs in a way that many of their peers, as well as many affected adults, historically do not.

As of this writing,  IBS Impact is aware of fifteen states having restroom access laws specifically allowing people with medical conditions to use employee-only restrooms in retail establishments: Colorado, Connecticut,  Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington State and Wisconsin. As these are individual state laws, they each vary in certain details,  Please see IBS Impact’s previous posts on February 21, 2012, August 20, 2012, and May 10, 2013 for links to the text of the law in each of the states where one currently exists. In most of these states, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is specifically mentioned in each law. In Massachusetts and Maryland,  IBS is covered broadly under “any other medical condition requires immediate access to a restroom facility.”

In past years, similar bills been introduced in several additional states, but have not yet passed, requiring continuing advocacy and reintroduction in subsequent legislative sessions.  IBS Impact has reached out to Ally and other self-advocates in the inflammatory bowel disease community in an effort to increase public awareness of the similar concerns of many people with IBS, as well as to offer support toward this common goal. While their diagnosis of IBD is different from IBS in several ways, the experience of gastrointestinal pain, unpredictable, urgent or frequent trips to the bathroom and feeling embarrassed and alone is shared by many people with IBS. The IBD community has generally been much more publicly visible and active in these advocacy efforts relative to people with IBS.  Please see IBS Impact’s previous post on November 2, 2012 for commentary on why it is in the interests of the IBS community to join our IBD-affected peers in pressing for these laws.

Beyond the need to advocate for the laws themselves, there also seems to be a need for increased awareness of the laws that exist among people with IBS, IBD or other bowel or bladder conditions who might benefit from these laws. There is also no centralized source for the status of laws, pending legislation, and advocacy efforts in each state, making it difficult to verify information at times. While IBS Impact does not currently have the resources to be as comprehensive a source for this as would be ideal, over time, this blog has striven to report on as much information on the subject as is readily available. When possible, we have also included links to the laws and to grassroots groups concerned with these issues in certain states.  We encourage readers and followers, both in the IBS and the IBD community, to comment here or to contact IBS Impact privately with additional information or corrections in the future, so that all people with medical conditions causing urgent restroom needs can benefit from this knowledge.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Public Toilet Access in the United Kingdom

November 18, 2013

Quick and plentiful access to public toilet facilities when needed is a common concern of many people with IBS, as well as other chronic medical conditions that may affect the bowel and/or bladder. IBS has addressed various aspects of this topic several times in the past, from the merits of “can’t wait cards” to “Ally’s Law” laws in several U. S. states, spearheaded by the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) community to allow people with medical conditions emergency access to employee-only restrooms in retail stores.  (Click on the Ally’s Law tag below the post to see all relevant posts.) This is not just a concern in a single country, however, but cuts across national borders.

Because this blog has many readers from the United Kingdom, we’d like to draw attention to a blog post by Julie Thompson, registered dietician and advisor to The IBS Network in Sheffield, the U.K. national organization for irritable bowel syndrome. She regularly writes as Jules_GastroRD at Clinical Alimentary. Most recently, she discusses some concerns specific to the U.K. such as fees for use of public facilities and the closure of many of them in recent times. Pay toilets are common in Europe and other regions across the globe, while in the U.S., for the past few decades, the practice has been rare and, in fact, illegal in some localities.

Ms.Thompson cites a study surveying people with IBD and the negative impact of these barriers on their quality of life. Although IBD is a different condition from IBS, it shares a major symptom with IBS of often urgent, unpredictable need to use a toilet. She also discusses “can’t wait cards” as well as RADAR keys issued to people with disabilities in the U.K. for a modest charge in order to unlock “disabled” accessible public toilets, a resource also available to people with urgent medical needs, and offers links to other interesting articles and blog posts.  Please read the entire post at the link below.

http://clinicalalimentary.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/my-annual-toilet-rant/

IBS Impact is interested in encouraging U.K. readers and followers to discuss their opinions and experiences on the points raised by the post linked above. Are these common concerns in the IBS community as well, as might be surmised? How can advocacy and awareness specific to the U.K. possibly help the overall cause? Please comment, either here on the IBS Impact blog or directly on Clinical Alimentary.


Restroom Access Act (Ally’s Law) Updates in Maryland and Maine

May 10, 2013

As of last month, April 2013, there are positive updates to report in two more U.S. states regarding Restroom Access Acts, popularly known as Ally’s Law. This brings the number of states with known restroom access laws, allowing people with medical conditions to use employee-only restrooms in retail establishments, to fifteen.

In Maryland, according to this April 11, 2013 article in the Maryland Reporter,  state legislation HB 1183 was signed into law by the governor. and is now known as Chapter 148. It will take effect on October 1, 2013. Unfortunately, there do not appear to be additional publicly available sources to confirm or elaborate on the linked information, but as far as IBS Impact is able to determine, the current law amends previously existing law to reduce the minimum number of employees a retail establishment must have in order to be covered by the law from twenty to three. This is more consistent with similar restroom access laws in other states and considerably expands the number of businesses that would be required to comply. The amended Chapter 148 also provides for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to create an identification card that can be downloaded and printed from its website and signed by a physician to verify an individual’s medical condition that may require immediate access to a toilet. Please note that unlike similar laws in most other states that currently have them, Maryland does not specifically mention irritable bowel syndrome in the text. However, IBS is covered by the phrase, “other medical condition.”

Also last month, Team Challenge Maine, an inflammatory bowel disease advocacy and awareness Facebook group we highlighted on this blog on December 23, 2012 for its efforts to pass similar legislation in that state, reported that to their surprise, Maine has already had such a law since 2009. The text of Maine statute Title 22, Section 1672-B is linked here. It specifically mentions irritable bowel syndrome among other eligible conditions. Team Challenge Maine now encourages people to report on their experiences of using the law now that they are aware of it.

These laws and the advocacy movement to enact them are popularly named for Ally Bain, who has Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Several years ago, as a young teenager, Ally had an accident in a store after her request to use the employee restroom was refused, despite her explaining repeatedly that she had an urgent medical need. After that humiliating experience, Ally successfully worked with legislators in her then-home state of Illinois to enact a law to address similar situations in 2005. Since then, with continued public advocacy by Ally and others, in addition to Illinois, Maryland and Maine, there are currently known existing laws in Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington State and Wisconsin. As these are individual state laws, they each vary in certain details, but most say that a “retail establishment” must give a person with an “eligible medical condition” access to an employee restroom if there is no public restroom immediately available, there are at least three employees (in one case, two) working at the time, and the facility itself or its location will not pose a safety hazard to the person or security risk to the business. Please see IBS Impact’s previous posts on February 21, 2012 and August 20, 2012 for links to text of the law in other states where one currently exists. In most of these states, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is specifically mentioned in each law. In Massachusetts, similar to Maryland,  IBS is covered broadly under “any other medical condition requires immediate access to a restroom facility.”

In past years, similar bills been introduced in several additional states, but have not yet passed, requiring continuing advocacy and reintroduction in subsequent legislative sessions.  IBS Impact has reached out to Ally and other self-advocates in the inflammatory bowel disease community in an effort to increase public awareness of the similar concerns of many people with IBS, as well as to offer support toward this common goal. While their diagnosis of IBD is different from IBS in several ways, the experience of gastrointestinal pain, unpredictable, urgent or frequent trips to the bathroom and feeling embarrassed and alone is shared by many people with IBS. The IBD community has generally been much more publicly visible and active in these advocacy efforts relative to people with IBS.  Please see IBS Impact’s previous post on November 2, 2012 for commentary on why it is in the interests of the IBS community to join our IBD-affected peers in pressing for these laws.

IBS Impact is pleased to learn that restroom access laws do exist in Maryland and Maine. However, there appears to be a lack of widespread coverage of the previous Maryland law and the recently signed amendments by journalists, as well as by websites, blogs and organizations in both the IBD and IBS communities. This news was not reported on this blog earlier than now,  precisely because of the difficulty in confirming accurate details through IBS Impact’s many sources, contacts and research efforts. Also, it is ironic that advocacy activities in Maine were publicly launched for several months before they were able to discover that a law already is on the books.

All this seems to point to a major lack of awareness in constituencies that might benefit from these laws, as well as the need for a centralized source for the status of laws, pending legislation, and advocacy efforts in each state. While IBS Impact does not currently have the resources to be as comprehensive a source for this as would be ideal, over time, this blog has striven to report on as much information on the subject as is readily available. When possible, we have also included links to the laws and to grassroots groups concerned with these issues in certain states.  We encourage readers and followers, both in the IBS and the IBD community, to comment here or to contact IBS Impact privately with additional information or corrections in the future, so that all people with medical conditions causing urgent restroom needs can benefit from this knowledge.


Join Restroom Access Act (Ally’s Law) Advocacy in Virginia, New York and Maine

December 23, 2012

UPDATE: 05/10/2013: Please see the May 10, 2013 post for updated information on Ally’s Law in the states of Maine and Maryland

UPDATE: 1/26/2013: Several sources, including Amplify Your Voice, are now reporting that on January 21, HB 1375, Virginia’s Restroom Access Act legislation was defeated in subcommittee without any votes of support. This is disappointing, but Amplify Your Voice states they will try again in the next legislative session next year. IBS Impact hopes they will and will post any news as it develops.

This week, the national newsmagazine U.S. News and World Report featured a lengthy article entitled, “The Grassroots Movement to Change the Nation’s Public Restroom Laws.” This has given renewed attention and momentum to the ongoing effort to pass a Restroom Access Act, popularly known as “Ally’s Law, ” in additional states.

This advocacy movement is named for Ally Bain, who has Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Several years ago, as a young teenager, Ally had an accident in a store after her request to use the employee restroom was refused, despite her explaining repeatedly that she had an urgent medical need. After that humiliating experience, Ally successfully worked with legislators in her then-home state of Illinois to enact a law to address similar situations in 2005. Since then, with continued public advocacy by Ally and others, similar laws have been enacted in twelve other states: Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington State and Wisconsin. As these are individual state laws, they each vary in certain details, but most say that a “retail establishment” must give a person with an “eligible medical condition” access to an employee restroom if there is no public restroom immediately available, there are at least three employees (in one case, two) working at the time, and the facility itself or its location will not pose a safety hazard to the person or security risk to the business. Please see IBS Impact’s previous posts on February 21, 2012 and August 20, 2012 for links to text of the law in each state where one currently exists. In twelve of these states, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is specifically mentioned in each law. In the thirteenth and most recently enacted, Massachusetts, IBS is covered broadly under “any other medical condition requires immediate access to a restroom facility.”

In past years, similar bills been introduced in several additional states, but have not yet passed, requiring continuing advocacy and reintroduction in subsequent legislative sessions.  IBS Impact has reached out to Ally and other self-advocates in the inflammatory bowel disease community in an effort to increase public awareness of the similar concerns of many people with IBS, as well as to offer support toward this common goal.While their diagnosis of IBD is different from IBS in several ways, the experience of gastrointestinal pain, unpredictable, urgent or frequent trips to the bathroom and feeling embarrassed and alone is shared by many people with IBS. Please see IBS Impact’s previous post on November 2, 2012 for commentary on why it is in the interests of the IBS community to join our IBD-affected peers in pressing for these laws.

Ally now resides in Virginia, where the Restroom Access Act, HB 1375,  is reported to be currently in the General Assembly. Her social media has also alerted us to current efforts in New York City, as well as a more general inflammatory bowel disease awareness effort in Maine, which appears to include some information about Ally’s Law efforts in that state.  State or city- specific updates can be reached through the following Facebook pages.

Amplify Your Voice: Help Get Ally’s Law Passed in Virginia

IBD in NYC- Pass Ally’s Law

Team Challenge Maine

IBS Impact thanks Ally and other IBD advocates for their leadership on this issue, and the receptivity of some of them to the participation of people with IBS. We will continue to follow the progress of efforts in various states as they arise, and to report on them to the IBS community. We urge readers to consider getting involved, and we encourage comments on this blog or IBS Impact’s social media in regard to your personal experiences with needing, using or advocating for these laws


The Restroom Access Act/Ally’s Law and Why It Matters to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

November 2, 2012

UPDATE 5/10/2013: Please see the May 10, 2013  post for newer information regarding additional restroom access laws in Maryland and Maine.

In the past, IBS Impact has blogged on the Restroom Access Act, popularly known as “Ally’s Law.” This law is named for Ally Bain, a recent college graduate who has Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Several years ago, as a young teenager, Ally had an accident in a store after her request to use the employee restroom was refused, despite her explaining repeatedly that she had an urgent medical need. After that humiliating experience, Ally resolved to do something about it, contacted her state legislator and helped to write and pass a bill to address similar situations. The first Restroom Access Act was signed into law in Ally’s home state of Illinois in 2005. Since then, with continued public advocacy by Ally and others, similar laws have been enacted in twelve other states: Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington State and Wisconsin, and have been considered in several other states and countries over the years. As these are individual state laws, they each vary in certain details, but most say that a “retail establishment” must give a person with an “eligible medical condition” access to an employee restroom if there is no public restroom immediately available, there are at least three employees (in one case, two) working at the time, and the facility itself or its location will not pose a safety hazard to the person or security risk to the business. Please see IBS Impact’s previous posts on February 21, 2012 and August 20, 2012 for links to text of the law in each state where one currently exists.

IBS Impact applauds Ally’s initiative. Her success in making these laws a reality is especially impressive, as she was just fourteen years old when she began her quest. She currently has wide recognition and support within the inflammatory bowel disease community, where many self-advocates and bloggers have followed suit in pressing for change that can positively affect quality of life for those with IBD and similar restroom access needs.

This week, in a guest post on the inflammatory bowel disease blog, Girls With Guts, Ally writes “The Origins of the Restroom Access Act” in her own words. While her diagnosis of IBD is different from IBS in several ways, her experience of gastrointestinal pain, unpredictable, frequent trips to the bathroom and feeling embarrassed and alone is shared by many people with IBS. She mentions how some people with IBD are similarly reluctant to come forward publicly as self-advocates, but explains why she believes advocacy is important and how her first steps in the past are continuing to yield concrete and useful results in the present and, with luck and continuing advocacy, in the future.

IBS Impact’s past blog posts on this subject have been popular, and we have received feedback from some people with IBS that newfound awareness of these laws is very appreciated, as well as sorely needed in additional states and countries. However, historically, the IBS community has not been very visible in these efforts, despite the fact that there are an estimated 30-45 million and perhaps even close to 60 million people with IBS in the U.S. alone, depending on the source, in contrast to approximately 1.3 million people with IBD, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. While twelve of the thirteen existing state laws do specifically mention irritable bowel syndrome as an eligible condition, the most recently enacted, in Massachusetts, refers only to inflammatory bowel disease and “other” medical conditions which may require immediate access to a toilet. The IBS community has the tremendous numbers to be a voice alongside our peers with IBD , to insure that IBS is specifically included in each law, and to raise state legislative and public awareness of IBS in the process. We should not simply benefit from the hard work of others.  IBS Impact hopes to follow the progress of efforts in various states as they arise, and to report on them to the IBS community. We urge readers to consider getting involved, as Ally and her mother did several years ago, and we encourage comments on this blog or IBS Impact’s social media in regard to your personal experiences with needing, using or advocating for these laws.


Massachusetts Enacts Restroom Access Act

August 20, 2012

UPDATE 5/10/2013: In addition to the links and information listed in the original post for states other than Massachusetts, please see the May 10, 2013 post if you are interested in new restroom access law information for Maryland or Maine.

On August 2, 2012, Governor Deval Patrick signed Chapter 191 into law. Chapter 191 amends Chapter 270 of the General Laws to require that a “retail establishment” in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must give a customer with an “eligible medical condition” or who uses an ostomy device access to an employee restroom upon request during normal business hours if there is no public restroom immediately available, there are at least three employees working at the time, the facility’s location will not pose a health or safety hazard  to the customer or a security risk to the business. The law states that a customer must provide written proof of an eligible condition from a physician. Unlike the other twelve U.S. states that have similar laws, the Massachusetts law does not specifically mention irritable bowel syndrome, but it appears that IBS qualifies as “any other medical condition that requires immediate access to a restroom facility.”

The full text of the Massachusetts law is linked here. For an extensive earlier post discussing and linking full texts of restroom access laws in other states, as well as “can’t wait” cards and resources in the U.S., U.K, and Australia, see the February 21, 2012 post. These laws are known popularly as “Ally’s Law” after Ally Bain, a young woman with Crohn’s disease, who, as a young teenager,  inspired and advocated for the first such law in Illinois. Please note that each state law has minor differences, so it is important to read and familiarize oneself with the details that apply in a particular state.

Similar bills have been introduced over the years in more U.S. states, but as information isn’t centralized, the current status of each state is difficult to confirm. As of this date, legislation is known to be currently pending in New York. Readers who are aware of further details about states or countries not mentioned in this post are invited to comment on this blog.  The inflammatory bowel disease community has historically been fairly active in advocating for these laws. IBS Impact would like to encourage readers with IBS and those who support us to become more involved in this advocacy issue when there is pending legislation. Our interest and visibility as a community will help accelerate passage and perhaps ensure that IBS is specifically included in the wording of such laws. These small accommodations by businesses can improve quality of life, ability to complete daily errands in public places and participate in community activities for many with IBS and/or conditions with similar restroom access needs.


Public Restroom Access and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

February 21, 2012

UPDATE 5/10/2013: As of April 2013, IBS Impact received information on additional restroom access laws in Maryland and Maine. Please see the May 10, 2013 post.

UPDATE: As of August 2012, Massachusetts became the thirteenth U.S. state to enact a restroom access law. See the August 20, 2012 post for details and a link to the full text of the law in that state.

Because IBS can cause frequent and/or unpredictable need to use a toilet, quick and plentiful access to public facilities is a major concern expressed by many people with IBS. Thus, it’s somewhat surprising that existing laws or resources that may be useful in some countries aren’t often discussed in the IBS community. A post last month by a blogger who goes by the online name of Felicia Fibro spurred exploration of this topic. Here is some information that may assist IBS Impact readers in some U.S. states, the U.K. and Australia.

Felicia, who identifies herself as having fibromyalgia and IBS, posted a video interview she did with Ally Bain and Ally’s gastroenterologist. (Scroll to January 16.) Ally has Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Several years ago, as a young teenager, Ally had an accident in a store after her request to use the employee restroom was refused, despite her explaining repeatedly that she had an urgent medical need. After that humiliating experience, Ally resolved to do something about it, contacted her state legislator and helped to write and pass a bill to address similar situations. The details of the incident and progress of her efforts have been blogged frequently by the About.com IBD Guide. In 2005, the Restroom Access Act, known popularly as “Ally’s Law,” was signed into law in Ally’s home state of Illinois. Since then, with continued public advocacy by Ally and others, similar laws have been enacted in eleven other states: Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky (part 1 and part 2), Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. While the exact language describing eligible medical conditions varies in each state, irritable bowel syndrome is specifically mentioned by each of the current twelve states.

There are other minor differences, so please click the linked states above to view the text of the law for a particular state. In general, the laws are similar to the model set by Illinois. Most are also named the Restroom Access Act. Most say that a “retail establishment” must give access to an employee restroom if there is no public restroom immediately available, there are at least three employees (in one case, two) working at the time, and the facility itself or its location will not pose a safety hazard to the person or security risk to the business. A few states narrow or expand the types of businesses covered or specify regular business hours only.  A few states do not explicitly require proof of a medical condition. In most states that address the issue of proof, a physician’s note is sufficient. Some states also accept notes from certain other types of licensed health providers. One state requires a specific form for this purpose. Many states permit an identification card from a national non-profit organization representing an eligible condition.

Please note– this type of card is not currently available from any U.S. organization concerned with IBS, although if there’s enough interest, it might be an advocacy issue to pursue. For U.S. readers who also have IBD, which is a separate condition from IBS, such cards are available to members of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America or from the Foundation for Clinical Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Those with interstitial cystitis,  a bladder condition that commonly overlaps with IBS, can obtain a card through the Interstitial Cystitis Association. The Association page linked here includes public restroom and travel advice for those with IC, but also appears helpful for conditions with similar restroom needs. The About.com IBD page linked in the second paragraph of this post also has useful tips.

The IBS Network, formerly The Gut Trust, in the U.K. also offers a card to its members, as does the Irritable Bowel Information and Support Association of Australia. There appear to be no specific legal protections associated with them; they’re simply a tool to communicate one’s needs to others quickly. According to The IBS Network’s  website, the organization has an ongoing advocacy campaign to prevent the closure of public toilets in many cities. From anecdotal information, it appears that some U.K. residents with IBS benefit from “RADAR keys,” which unlock disability-accessible public toilets. The keys, as well as a guide to places where they can be used, are sold by the Royal Association for Disability Rights (RADAR),which recently merged with two other cross-disability advocacy organizations to form Disability Rights U.K.

Bills similar to “Ally’s Law” have been introduced over the years in more U.S. states, but as information isn’t centralized, the current status of each state is difficult to confirm. As of this date, legislation is known to be currently pending in New York. Readers who are aware of further details about states or countries not mentioned in this post are invited to comment on this blog.

IBS Impact applauds Ally’s initiative. Her success in making these laws a reality is especially impressive, as she was just fourteen years old when she began her quest. It’s hoped that other youth and adults will follow suit to change the system for digestive disorders like IBS. As Ally points out in Felicia’s interview, “It’s important to speak out… so that people know they’re not alone.” The IBS Network’s goals are also worthy, and readers in the U.K. should seek out more information on how to support them.


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