Dear Able-Bodied People: I Need My Space

Dear Able-Bodied People,

I need my space, so please don’t take it.

What am I talking about? You guessed it, parking spaces and accessible parking. I am 28 years old, I have cerebral palsy, I am an amputee, and I use a wheelchair. So I think one of my biggest pet peeves I have seen over the years, and will most likely see for the rest of my life, is perfectly able-bodied individuals taking these spots when they themselves are not disabled. Just because you have a disability placard for your grandmother or any other family member does not mean you can use the space to make your life easier.

I want everyone who is reading this to stop and think for a second. Any one of us can become disabled at any point in our lives — it can happen to you or someone you love. Would you want them to have to deal with finding a parking space they need but can’t use because an able-bodied person took it? You think that there are enough of these spaces to go around? Well, guess what? There are not — trust me, I know firsthand.

So the next time you see a disability parking space, please do me a favor and do not park there. We as a disabled community need our parking spaces just as much as you do.


A disabled woman who needs her parking space

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock image by Tyler Comeaux.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Disability

29 Incredible Costumes for Kids in Wheelchairs

I have a daughter with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair. The years we have gone to trick-or-treat, our little princess (she has been a princess every year) rides in her chair, which for the night becomes her “carriage.” I like to think of myself as a creative person, however, the idea to decorate my [...]
Service dogs - list of useful and fun gear.

12 Useful and Fun Products for Service Dogs and Their Humans

Service dogs can offer a path to greater independence for people with a wide variety of disabilities. As more of us discover how life-changing a service dog can be, it can be helpful to share ideas and advice on how to make everyday life easier. So we asked our Mighty disability and chronic illness communities [...]
Victoria and Val performing on Dancing With the Stars.

'Dancing With the Stars' Shines Light on Disability

Zein Al Maha Oweis is a RespectAbility Fellow who is visually impaired. Earlier this month, Season 25 of “Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS) premiered, bringing 13 new cast members and their pros into the spotlight. Not only has DWTS been praised for its high viewing rates, but the show is part of a group of [...]
Inspiration porn offensive disability memes.

Please Stop Spreading 'Inspiration Porn' About Disability

There’s a strange phenomenon on the internet that we in the disability community refer to as “inspiration porn.” It’s where abled people use pictures of disabled people to exclaim how inspirational they are simply for existing, or use it to guilt abled people into trying harder because if a disabled person can brush their teeth, [...]