Handicapped-accessible Parking Is a Necessity with a Wheelchair

Handicapped-accessible Parking Is a Necessity with a Wheelchair
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Handicapped-accessible parking spaces are for people with disabilities. In a recent news report, a disabled California man said he was physically assaulted because he asked someone not to park in a handicapped-accessible space. I don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with being asked to move out of a parking space they didn’t need. It is scary to think that someone would be hurt over such a request.

According to the article, Philip Kinstler of Pleasant Hill, California, went to a Target store to return a shirt. He parked in a handicapped-accessible space with enough room to unload his wheelchair. He said he noticed an SUV parked across from him without a handicapped tag and asked the woman who was sitting inside to move the vehicle. I would have done the same.

Kinstler said the woman’s boyfriend later found him inside the store and demanded that he apologize. When he refused to leave the store with him, Kinstler said the man knocked him out of his wheelchair. Kinstler ended up with a broken wrist on the arm that helps him be the most independent. The suspect was arrested.

I believe that people with disabilities should support one another. I know that not everyone who needs a handicapped-accessible parking spot uses a wheelchair. Some people have other disabilities or can’t walk long distances. But if you use a wheelchair, you need a wider accessible spot. I have a side-entry ramp on my van. If I don’t have a parking spot with enough space, I cannot lower my ramp and I can’t get in or out. Imagine how frustrating it is when I can’t access my own vehicle.

I have received mixed reactions when asking people to move from handicapped-accessible parking spots. Sometimes people are understanding and sometimes they are rude. My personal care attendant once asked a woman to move because her car was blocking my ramp. The woman said she parked there so that her door wouldn’t get scratched. She agreed to move for us but returned to the spot as soon as we pulled away.

I have been met with condescending reactions when asking drivers to move. It’s hard to believe when I’m simply trying to access my van. Kindness matters. But if you ask someone to move, be prepared for them to take it as an offense.

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Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disorder. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.

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