Wednesday, September 05, 2012

accessible parking lot paralympics

Oh, the stuff you will learn!
Looking out the windows of a wheelchair van!

Normally we just arrive, lower the ramp, roll out Patti in her wheelchair and off we go. However Labor Day morning while waiting for showers to break we observed what I can only describe as the accessible parking lot paralympics.

Even Patti with her visual impairment noticed and would ask what was that? Or there goes another one?

Over about thirty minutes, a handful or so of cars pulled in and parked with accessible parking placards. Out of each car popped at least one person who sprinted through the rain directly past our van and into an unnamed minor league baseball stadium.

Hmmm …

Sprinters certainly were not blind, nor were they unable to walk 200 ft, nor did they display any portable oxygen, nor require the use of a wheelchair or assistive device … or the more visible reasons for a PennDot accessible parking placard.

Leaving one of two conclusions …

For the skeptics - able bodied people would misuse someone's accessible parking placard for a parking pass on a rainy day.

For the optimists - a minor league ball park employs many people wearing sprinting prosthetics to work under their clothing.

by Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. Oh, that drives me nuts!! We see the same thing at my mother's home. I think the people using those few precious spaces just keep their family member's placard and use it whenever they want! I do know one guy who does that, but he only visits once in a while. Did you know that a woman in Glassboro over here got arrested for asking able-bodied people why they parked in those spaces? She was cited for harassment!

  2. This drive me crazy too...but maybe they have a mental impairment:)

  3. I've seen it work in the reverse also. My friend who is a double amputee gets harassed for parking in accessible parking spaces. She has to show people her two prosthetic limbs to stifle their ridicule and sometimes that doesn't even work. I guess they figure that if she can walk on artificial limbs she shouldn't be able to park her car closer to the building.

  4. Thanks for the comments. I for one had never just sat and observed accessible parking over a period of time. My gut feeling is that abuse of accessible parking by those who would abuse any privilege has created kind of suspicion awareness by those in need of accessible parking.

    'We' have always been blessed in that I am Patti's caregiver and driver soooo we have options above and beyond accessible parking spaces or lots, however for may this is simply not the case. To many they are necessary spaces not accessible spaces.

  5. I look very good when I get out. At times I can sprint! But never on the way back. Never. I should talk more about my MS hassles I guess... but they're nothing compared to Patti's.

  6. Life is a bit harder for those people with disabilities, so something as simple as putting their priorities above ours every now and then is a good act of random kindness. We should provide them with accessible parking spaces which is one of their common concerns whenever they go to school, their workplace, and any other public facility.

  7. Stricter law or policies should be implemented. The PWD parking space is a special designation to allow people with disabilities to gain access to and fro the building. In fact, misusing the PWD parking designation is a felony. We should be considerate enough of their situation instead of abusing and using their privileges for our personal benefit.

  8. support for caregivers - The Caregiver Space is an online community dedicated to providing support for Senior Caregiving, Family Caregiving Alliance and Spouse Caregivers.


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