Thursday, January 17, 2008

Disabled Parking Spaces

I just read on The Today Show website about a pet peeve survey they had done - or some such nonsense. One of the pet peeves was:

"It makes me furious when I see people who are obviously not disabled parking in a handicap parking spot! They are cheating the system!
--Anonymous , Houston, TX (submitted on Jan. 14, 2008"


Well, let me say the following in defense of myself. I am disabled, and have a disabled parking permit. Some days I walk well and don't need my cane or assistance or a wheelchair or a driving cart. Other days I can barely move. On the day when I am able to walk out of the car and into the store, you "Anonymous, Houston, TX" see me and you are disgruntled by me, because I "....are obviously not disabled....."! You have no idea why someone has that space. Some people can not walk that far without a breathing problem, some people have had knee or hip replacements and are instructed not to walk that far, some are like me good days and bad days. How dare you presume that someone who has gone through the trouble and expense of getting a disabled parking permit, isn't using it appropriately? Now, yes there are those who borrow other people's cars and use the permit and they shouldn't! I AGREE! And they should be punished as the sign says with a fine. But if you feel that the person is not disabled, ask them to show you the paper they are supposed to carry that approves them to use that space! So far I have been asked in South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia for that paper by store employees and twice policemen. I am happy to show it and they apologize and move on. In all situations, it was because a person with a low opinion of someone with a disabled parking permit, reported me as unworthy of the space/permit. Once you discover they are legitimate - then apologize for your insensitivity to their situation. I am tired of feeling as though on my good days, I should park elsewhere. I have no idea when an episode with my osteoarthritis or my MS will attack me and I am stuck somewhere unable to get those four extra steps to my car - because I gave in to individuals like you! I had to go to the doctor, pay a doctor's visit, and get his signature for that permit. I have to then go to my local government agency that issues the permits, pay for the permit and sign that I will not give it or loan to anyone. And every two years I have to do the same thing over and over again. Until you struggle with a disability, don't presume that you know everything about someone with a disabled parking permit. Ask you will be enlightened!


grambie said...

Oh my goodness. Your response is what comes from others judging a person strictly by their appearances, that can and often are deceiving. I also have handicapped license and use a cane, walker, or another body to help me at various times. I have never had anyone questioned me about my use of a handicapped sticker. Here in MD, we no longer have to pay for them. If you were to see me sitting, you would say that she is an overweight (OWL) Older and Wiser Learner. That's on my better days.

I hope that your MS gives you relief because pain is a fact of your life that is there forever. Let's just hope that the Nay Sayers will NEVER have to resort to a handicapped sticker because of disability. I can't physically drive. Do you drive? If so, you are blessed. Because of the instability of my condition, my body will collapse and I can't control it, I stopped driving quite a while ago.

It has been nice to meet you. I am still laughing at your header about being a misfit. That is just too much for words. LOL. Okay, if your Momma says so, then it is true. Hopefully your state will stop charging for the Handicapped Tags and stickers. Have a wonderful weekend. Don't let the negativism of others get you down. It is not worth it and will never be worth it. SEE YOU AGAIN!!!

Ron said...

Amen. I support you. Convenient parking is a small assist for you with your conditions.

I joked for years about empty disabled parking spaces: "they need to do some recruiting." Well, they got me - broken pelvis. Surgery was successful enough to do a hip replacement 10 months later - this week. But I suffered 5 months of impaired recovery after 5 months of slow recovery. So I have been on walker, crutches and cane for 10 months. Now back to crutches.

It would be hard for me to use the disabled parking when I don't require an assistive device. (I won't need it when I give them up and will be GLAD to walk.) But I no longer write off those who do.