About GoHere: Increasing Washroom Access

Imagine if you lived with a life-long condition where you needed to go to the washroom between five to twenty times a day.

As the only national health charity focused on finding cures and better treatments for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has created and is leading the GoHere project to ensure that washrooms are readily available so that people can avoid stressful and humiliating situations.

What Is GoHere?
GoHere is an innovative initiative to partner with businesses to increase washroom access for people who live with medical conditions related to incontinence. The project has three components - the decal, the washroom finder app and the access card - that connect people to washrooms.

By posting a GoHere decal on storefront windows, it signals to people with Crohn’s and colitis and those living with other incontinence issues that the washroom is open and available, no questions asked. There is no cost associated with joining, yet the benefits to the whole community are transformational. Business participation enables people living with Crohn’s, colitis and other incontinence issues to break free from the anxiety, fear and stress they face when leaving their homes. Participating businesses are listed on the go-here.ca website.

The GoHere Washroom Finder App identifies the closest available washrooms anywhere across Canada. You can add new locations, rate and comment on existing ones and even find washrooms en route to a destination. The GoHere Washroom Finder App is available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry touchscreen platforms.

A special feature of the Washroom Finder App includes use of a personalized virtual washroom access card to show proof of medical need. The card acts as a safeguard for those who face emergencies and need to use a location that has not yet joined the GoHere decal project.

Background:
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are life-long medical conditions that are hidden disabilities requiring urgent access to a washroom. When in flare-ups, these diseases cause inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract. Washroom access is a key priority since people experience frequent and urgent bowel movements, averaging from five to more than twenty times a day. These gastrointestinal conditions affect one in every 150 Canadians, are twice as common as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease and are about as common as epilepsy and Type 1 diabetes. Canada has a rate that ranks highest in the world. These diseases are escalating in children at an alarming rate, especially those under 10 years old. With an expected 10,200 new diagnoses every year, these diseases are becoming widespread in Canada.

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 150 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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