I have been denied access to the handicapped washroom on two different occasions, at two different, internationally-recognized restaurants. In both cases, the handicapped washroom was locked.
The first time it happened, I was told by the cashier that the washroom was out-of-service. I knew that it wasn't, just by the look on her face. When I explained that I needed the handicapped toilet because I didn't want to exceed ninety degrees with my new hip, she relented and handed over the key.
In the second restaurant, I was simply told that it was for handicapped people. Again, I had to go through the explanation, before the key was passed over to me.
I understand that the cashiers were doing what they thought was the right thing - keeping the washroom free for what they thought handicapped people would look like. However, if someone asks for the key to the handicapped washroom, I don't think it is necessary to provide an explanation detailing one's disability.
Needless to say, I followed up with letters to the branch offices of both establishments explaining that not all disabled people are in wheelchairs. Thankfully, I haven't had a problem since then.
Have you ever encountered something similar?