Friday, October 21, 2011

Accessible parking: Tara's story

Today I wanted to share with you a comment that was posted on the My Becker's Story blog concerning my blog post "Accessible parking spaces and the harassment those with less recognizable disabilities face". This comment was made by a young women named Tara who is living with Charcot Marie tooth disease. Her story help us take a closer look at the harassment some people face when it comes to using accessible parking. I really believe Tara's comments help to shed more light on the issue and shows how some people's ignorance can cause problems for others.

Here are Tara's comments:

I can't agree with you more!!! I'm 28 and have Charcot Marie tooth disease, I wear two AFO's (leg braces) but my physical disability is not that visibly obvious. I too have been screamed at, cursed, threatened with police action or physical harm. The most alarming incident though is when a parking enforcer left a ticket on my window claiming I stole the disability sign. I had to go to court twice the first time the "judge" needed to reschedule this to a closed court room after I had presented my valid parking permit and the parking enforcer tried to state it had been reported stolen. To which I replied he was lying. The second trial I had a letter stating that my parking pass had never been reported stolen. When the judge called the case the district or parking enforcers decided to dismiss the ticket. I wanted to further pursue this as I had my evidence (a part of me wanted him fired) but was afraid they would somehow win (as they already had lied) because the judge didn't officially hear this case it is not entered into any public records. The parking enforcer is still working and was praised (during the dismissing of the ticket) as a senior supervisor and very trustworthy. I wonder how many times this happens that parking enforcers can flat-out lie, be ignorant especially in there field of work but be protected by the government. I can understand the public not realizing physical disabilities come in many forms but someone who tickets vehicles and works for the city should be educated that you cannot look at someone and diagnose if they have a legitimate need for that parking or not. I think these situations really need to be a part of public record so that people working for the city are held accountable for their snap judgments.

I can understand that the public might think I don't have a disability, and when they confront me I kindly point out the fact that I have a valid permit. If they continue I politely state that physical disabilities come in many forms, some that are not as visually obvious as being in a wheel chair or being elderly.

Please if you have the time visit Tara's blog at:

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