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Disability in Madrid: Public services

There are a few types of public services with data related to accessibility or people with disabilities.  These are public libraries and public toilets.  The data for public libraries uses 0 and 1 to indicate whether or not a facility is accessible.  All use 0 to indicate not accessible.  None of the descriptions for libraries provide information about accessibility.  This sort of situation exists for other types of public services including movil punto limpios.  All of these are listed as being inaccessible.  The inverse was true for data about public toilets in Madrid.  Using the 0 and 1 system for accessibility, all were listed as being accessible.


Given the importance of public services like libraries for job hunting and public toilets for making it possible to go out without having to worry about where a person needs to go to the bathroom, some of this data shows some zones are very underserved for populations with disabilities.  Some places with large numbers of people with disabilities have no to few public toilets.  These instead tend to be clustered around zones that are more tourist oriented.  While this may be advantageous to the economy in terms of attracting tourists with disabilities, it is less advantageous to people with disabilities living outside Madrid’s tourist center.

Why it matters

A lot of publicly accessible buildings in Madrid, including shops and restaurantes, are not fully accessible. While some areas may be accessible, toilets are often not accessible. In some places, they are located down steep sets of narrow stairs with no elevator or stair lift. This can make it very difficult for people with disabilities to plan their travel outside of their home, as they may not be able to use the toilet while they are out. By having more public toilets, it makes it easier for people with disabilities to be more self-sufficient. Libraries are another type of public service that may not be fully accessible. These matter because they often provide access to social opportunities, free access to the Internet and other information resources, free places to study or work and opportunities to connect to the local community. Having access to libraries can reduce a person’s cost of living, provide social opportunities and access to information and physical spaces that can improve quality of life.

Disability accessible toilets

The city of Madrid has built and maintains a number of accessible public toilets in the city. These are not found in every district. Among the districts that have them, the greatest number are found in Centro (Madrid), which has 8 total. The smallest number of accessible toilets is 1, with seven districts having this many. These districts include RetiroChamartinFuencarral-El PardoMoncloa-AravacaLatinaCiudad LinealVilla de Vallecas and Vicálvaro. 5 districts have no public toilets.

Total disability accessible toilets by district

The comparative number of accessible public toilets by district.

The total number of accessible public toilets by district.

Using data from the Ayuntamiento de Madrid, the table below counts the number of public accessible toilets by district. 5 districts are not listed because the data did not any disability accessible toilets were found in them.

District Number of accessible toilets
Centro (Madrid) 8
Arganzuela 5
Carabanchel 3
Usera 3
Puente de Vallecas 3
San Blas-Canillejas 3
Barajas 3
Villaverde 2
Retiro 1
Chamartin 1
Fuencarral-El Pardo 1
Moncloa-Aravaca 1
Latina 1
Ciudad Lineal 1
Villa de Vallecas 1
Vicálvaro 1

Disability accessible toilets location

A map of the location of disability accessible toilets in Madrid.

The following table is a list of all the disability accessible toilets in Madrid, including ones in Madrid. It can be viewed on a clickable map that uses Google Fusion Tables.
coordinates of accessible bathroom
40.406894, -3.708283
40.412331, -3.704878
40.414456, -3.704062
40.408589, -3.692684
40.417017, -3.721598
40.418455, -3.709129
40.419094, -3.703232
40.42704, -3.703732
40.397415, -3.70688
40.401218, -3.704976
40.404693, -3.703056
40.40072, -3.694359
40.401629, -3.686763
40.407668, -3.689371
40.465524, -3.688785
40.494946, -3.701035
40.425409, -3.718507
40.404682, -3.745407
40.362867, -3.757678
40.373465, -3.738752
40.397588, -3.7129
40.377888, -3.711969
40.379463, -3.700149
40.378733, -3.690377
40.381182, -3.669187
40.398301, -3.669491
40.38226, -3.624984
40.438059, -3.638914
40.346489, -3.709129
40.350083, -3.69258
40.386604, -3.608208
40.404406, -3.608141
40.41755, -3.623047
40.429708, -3.607124
40.448892, -3.609297
40.456458, -3.608597
40.462253, -3.606833
40.463498, -3.600399

Public libraries

The city of Madrid operates a number of public libraries. A number of libraries may be missing as the list from the Ayuntamiento de Madrid does not appear complete. Many libraries also do not have complete information about the level of accessibility of their facilities, just saying that they are “Adaptado discapacitado” without additional information in the database. Where data is available, 10 districts have public libraries. Of these, 3 have 1 library each that are not accessible. These districts are Puente de VallecasSan Blas-Canillejas and VillaverdeCentro (Madrid) has the most accessible libraries at 4, while Hortaleza and Usera have the next most accessible libraries with 2 each. ArganzuelaMoncloa-AravacaMoratalazPuente de VallecasRetiroSan Blas-Canillejas and Villaverde are listed as having one accessible library each.

Total accessible public libraries by district

Count of accessible and inaccessible public libraries by district in Madrid.

Using data from the Ayuntamiento de Madrid, the table below counts the number of public accessible libraries by district.
District Accessible libraries Inaccessible libraries
Arganzuela 1 0
Centro (Madrid) 4 0
Hortaleza 2 0
Moncloa-Aravaca 1 0
Moratalaz 1 0
Puente de Vallecas 1 1
Retiro 1 0
San Blas-Canillejas 1 1
Usera 2 0
Villaverde 1 1
Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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