Carnegie Mellon University

Inclusive Restroom Signage

As part of its mission to make restrooms on CMU’s campus safe and welcoming for all individuals, the All-Gender Restroom Access Committee led the design and placement of new signage for all campus restrooms.

CMU recognizes that many members of our community, including trans and nonbinary individuals, do not feel welcomed or affirmed by existing gendered, multi-user restrooms, and that relying on single-user solutions to meet our needs is not sufficient. While current building code in effect in Pennsylvania and Allegheny County requires multi-user restrooms to be designated for either "men" or "women," the university continues to support individuals making personal restroom decisions for themselves when neither of these binary options affirm their lived experience.

The International Plumbing Code (IPC) – an evolving written document that helps set standards throughout the industry – was updated in 2021 to allow appropriately designed, multiple-user toilet facilities to serve anyone. (View the 2021 International Plumbing Code for details about these changes.) We continue to advocate for the adoption of these updates in our state requirements that will allow Allegheny County to follow suit.

The following permanent signs are attached to all multi-stall restrooms on our Pittsburgh campus to affirm CMU’s long-standing non-discrimination policy and support of individual choice.

multi-stall exterior sign
Multi-stall restroom exterior signage

Multi-stall interior signage
Multi-stall restroom interior signage

The signage of all single-stall restrooms on the Pittsburgh campus was also updated to be consistent and to confirm that they are open for private use by anyone.

single-user bathroom sign.        single-user bathroom sign with wheelchair
Single-stall restroom signage

Inclusive restrooms meet a basic need for all members of our community, including gender-diverse individuals, caregivers and those who need their assistance, and people with limited mobility who then have the option to use the closest restroom. These signs, and future plans to expand and create more inclusive, non-gendered facilities on campus, are important measures that Carnegie Mellon is taking to create safe, sustainable and inclusive public restrooms for everyone regardless of age, gender, race, religion and disability.