Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Handicapped / Reserved Parking Signs

If this news item about the petition to change handicapped parking signs came out in April, I would've assumed it was an April Fool's prank.  Instead, the month was September, which is nearly as far away from April as it's possible to get.

I'm not opposed to the message that disabled individuals are active and capable members of society.  The problem that I have is that it fails to address the bigger issue with the public, which is that they're mostly unaware of (and somewhat intolerant of) people with "invisible" disabilities.  The common view is that if you don't have a wheelchair, crutch or cane, then you don't need to (or shouldn't) park in a reserved spot.  The assumption is that such people are privileged folks who obtained their signs illegally or under false pretenses.

But people with chronic fatigue, lupus, multiple sclerosis and many other conditions, often appear whole and able-bodied.  Maybe their affliction is in remission.  But it could come back at any moment.

I'm not disabled but my wife is, so we have a placard that entitles us to park in handicapped parking spots.  There are times that I'll be alone in the car and park in the handicapped spot in order to pick up or drop off my wife.  Anyone who sees me do this would wonder why I need to park there.

We don't drive with the placard in place.  There have been times that we've parked in a handicapped spot and forgot to hang the placard from the rear-view window.  Surprisingly we never got a ticket for doing that.

Here's a link to the "position paper" published by The Arc of the Farmington Valley, Inc. 

What do you think of the new sign?


Zazzy said...

I hadn't heard about the possible change. What kind of a world is it where NPR talked about the Twitter emoji thing and not the handicapped sign. Although I did read about why "handicapped" has been replaced by "disabled."

I don't really like the new sign. But I don't particularly care.

Square Peg Guy said...

It's just the sort of thing you might learn about on NPR. My local station didn't mention it either. It was mentioned in the newsletter of a state legislator.

Thanks for commenting!