Don’t Judge by Appearances – Accessible parking rights & needs for people with invisible disabilities.
They Don’t LOOK Handicapped!
Have you ever seen someone get out of a car parked in a space reserved for the handicap, who did not LOOK handicap? Did it make you very uncomfortable or even upset? Did you let them know of your disapproval by giving them a dirty look or yelling something at them?
Most recently, there have been many occasions online where people are even putting notes onto cars saying they shouldn’t park there.
The general qualifications for the accessible parking spaces include those using chairs, walkers, crutches, canes and assitance dogs. Nonetheless, most of us do not realize they also include certain impaired functions of the heart or lungs, as well as conditions which are worsened to a specified impairment by walking a certain distance.
Here are just a few invisible reasons a person may be able to park in the accessible spaces:
Back Injury, Brain Injury, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Heart Condition, Muscular Disorders, Neurological Disorders, Seizure Disorders, Spinal Disorders, Bone Disorders, Chronic Injuries, Organ Transplant, Oxygen Impairment, Difficult Pregnancy, Prosthetic, Surgery and several others.
Stryder has several of this “disorders” (All highlighted in orange), but you cannot see them. You also cannot see the braces on his legs unless he wears shorts, which he often doesn’t because he doesn’t want people to see the bracing.
We don’t use the spaces often, but there are times when we know we will be out long or Stryder is just having a “bad” day, pain, oxygen or otherwise.
This is the face of someone who needs not to be judged: