Today I went to register to vote and sign up for an absentee ballot. As someone who is handicapped I was faced with a difficult decision. Do I take the ramp which is three times the distance from my car to the door or take the stairs? Both are painful and difficult for my arthritic knees and ankles. I hate facing these choices. It was tempting to say – fuck it – and not go register to vote or sign up for the absentee voting. When I’m faced with situations like these I wonder if the designer of the handicapped area really thought about all possible handicapped situations. Someone in a wheel chair would have no problem getting up that ramp provided someone was pushing them or it was an electric chair. A walking handicapped person such as myself would have difficulties with the distance – as I did.
I was at a restaurant today with my daughter and watched as people thoughtlessly parked in a handicap spot. I’ll grant that there was no sign but the painted handicap symbol was clearly visible on the parking spot.
Here is what I want people to think about. When you take a spot near the door, you are making it so that people who are handicapped aren’t able to visit that establishment. You are limiting their already limited ability to get around. You may also be causing them more pain. If they are like me – they will find the nearest parking spot and hope the extra distance won’t cause them too much pain.
If you see someone parking in a handicap spot and they don’t look handicapped but have a plate or card don’t judge them. You never know what the handicap is. It could be a heart problem, epilepsy, diabetes, or any number of other issues which do not show outwardly. Don’t judge them.
If you see someone parking in the handicap spot and they aren’t handicapped. Ask them to move. If they don’t then call the police. I know – no one wants to get involved – but if you don’t what about the next handicapped person who pulls into the parking lot? Will they be able to even get out of their vehicle and into the establishment?
Do the right thing. Don’t park in the handicap spots and support the handicapped by preventing other people (non-handicapped) from parking there. If you don’t want to get involved in a confrontation, then call the police and let them deal with these inconsiderate people.