Monday, February 2, 2015

Reasons why I have no choice but to use accessible parking

Over the last few years I have expressed my frustration with some people's ignorance when it comes to the use of accessible parking. Still to this day I really don't understand why there is so much confusion around there use. Now I am pretty sure that most people are not surprised when they see someone in need of a wheelchair, walker or even a cane parking in these spaces. But the second they see a much younger person who might still have the ability to walk parking there they feel the need to stop and stare, they may even send and insult or two your way. Simply because they are ignorant to the fact that disabilities affect those young and old even someone like me who still has the ability to walk. Over the last few years I have become all too familiar with this type of ignorance. So here a list to help educate the public on why someone like me has every right to park my vehicle in accessible parking spaces.  

Reasons why I have every right to use accessible parking:

- Every time I park in regular old fashioned parking spaces, I always come back to find another vehicle in the space next to me parked so close that it becomes nearly impossible for me to get back into my car. You see I need the extra space accessible parking provides as it allows me to open my car door all the way. Allowing me to get in and out of my car with minimal physical effort. Something that is important for someone who is still walking and especially for those of us living with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy. When people park in this way it helps to create challenges that I just shouldn't have to face. This is why I no longer park in regular old parking spaces. Thankfully having an accessible parking permit allows me to avoid these types of situations.

 - When it comes to living with what some people might call a hidden disability reality for me is I never know when one of my legs is going to give out. So the shorter the distance I have to walk the better as it lowers the risk of me falling. I am sure that no driver wants me falling behind there vehicle risking the possibility of being run over. Really if that happened how would it make you feel? This is why you shouldn't have a problem with me using accessible parking as it helps to make both our lives much easier. So you have to think the next time you see someone like me using accessible parking. Ask yourself first might this person have a hidden disability? Would it really benefit either of us if you first resort to giving me dirty looks and calling me names just because you see me walking? You have to remember that there is a huge possibility that I have every right to park there. Because when you stare or choose to call me names it only helps to show how truly ignorant you are.

Why you really have no right to judge us

-You have to realize that you really have no right to judge someone who you probably have never met and know nothing about. So how are you supposed to know if they have the right to park there or not.

-It is always best to think before you react as you don't really know that persons story or struggle. Some of us have been through a lot and your stares and rude comments only help to upset us and on many occasions even has the possibly of ruining our entire days.

-Think about it this way do you have a copy of our medical records? No, so please just leave us alone as we don't want to be reminded of some peoples ignorance on a daily basis. Many of us use these spaces several times throughout the day. Do you think we want to have to deal with this kind of stupidly every single time we park our cars?

-It must be known that it is not your job to instantly become an accessible parking space superhero every time you see some who doesn't fit your stereotypical view of someone with a disability. As you can see in the end the problem isn't with them its with you.

 The point I am trying to make with this posting is that when the next time comes and you are tempted to stare or make rude remarks it might be a better idea to just mind your business. 

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