themighty logo

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.