While parking in a ‘disabled spot’ is neither a privilege nor a right — it is, for many of us, an absolute necessity.
Jim Hubbeard’s letter (Record, Dec. 14) about the ‘able-bodied bullies’ who have little better to do than patrol and police our parking was spot on.
A disability is not an exclusive reserve of the aged. Disabled, or handicapped parking is not something one earns; nor is it always the consequence an obvious physical impairment.
A disability is more than a ‘pain in the ass’ and believe me, anyone of us would happily park a mile away from our destination if it meant we could return to being healthy and able-bodied.
A parking ‘pass’ is not easy to get nor is it something we are proud to have. Getting a coveted little blue and white decal declares to the world that we have something ‘wrong’ with us and can actually be quite demeaning and embarrassing.
Yes, some of us may still have all our limbs, be able to stand upright and even be able to drive. But, as if it’s not difficult enough trying to live with our disability we also have to contend with the inevitable barrage of comments (particularly at Christmas time) such as: “So what’s wrong with you then?” “That’s only for the disabled!” “You should be ashamed of yourself!” “You don’t look disabled to me!’
It’s no fun having a disability, especially one that is apparently invisible. Each time I park, I see people looking me over and getting themselves ready for the interrogation, and as for the ‘gentleman’ outside of Safeway’s last week; no, I am not going to tell you the name of my doctor, nor shall I provide you medical ‘proof’ of exactly what I suffer from!
To echo Mr. Hubbeard’s sentiment; whether obviously disabled or not, let’s try to treat everyone with respect and perhaps give others the benefit of our doubts.