Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is it time for an all-new kind of accessible parking space?

When it comes to accessible parking sadly way too many people feel the need to take on the role of a vigilante, when it comes to policing these types of parking spaces. The type of people who believe if you park in these spaces and don't appear to have a disability that it is their duty to jump into action like some kind of an accessible parking space super hero. When called into action the first thing most accessible parking space vigilantes do is give you a dirty look then they wait patiently for you to exit your vehicle. It's at that point when they might even start yelling at you using every insult in the book while saying things like; "Laziness is not a disability" or "Why don't you save those spaces for the people who really need them". Some will even curse you out just to belittle you in public to make you feel as if you are doing something wrong when you are not.
Unfortunately, way too many of us are having to deal with this kind of ignorance daily. It has happened to me so many times that I am always a little apprehensive when it comes to using accessible parking. Like most people I don't appreciate being cursed at or being told off for doing something I have every right to do. My biggest concern is that one day someone is going to take it too far which could result in my car being vandalized or even me being assaulted simply for not having a recognizable disability. 

Maybe it is time to introduce an all-new type of accessible parking space strictly for people with hidden disabilities. Quite possibly the simplest thing we could do is update the international sign for accessibility? Sure, it was recently updated with what I like to call the accessibility in motion symbol. But would the addition of someone walking with a line through their leg symbolizing some one with walking difficulties, along with a cane help to send the message that people with a wide range of mobility issue's use these spaces?
All too often it seems as if people are still getting confused by the international symbol for accessibility being a person using a wheelchair. The mistake some people are making is believing that if they don't see us using a wheelchair or a cane that we must be perfectly fine. What many of these people seem to be unable to learn is that a disability can affect anyone young or old even those still walking. People really need to start thinking twice before judging total strangers who may not look disabled in their eyes. My suggestion for everyone is if you see an accessible parking permit it is best to just mind your business. After all no one wins when it comes to Parking lot rage. In the end most of us are just trying to enjoy our day and we don't need you ruining it!

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