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Paralympian Jessica Long Claps Back at People Who Question Her Use of Accessible Parking

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If anyone has ever questioned your disability, Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long’s TikTok about the responses she gets when she parks in a disability parking spot is all too relatable.

In her TikTok video, Long said that another woman said Long shouldn’t park in an accessible parking spot reserved for people with disabilities. Long, visibly frustrated, said she deals with comments like this often due to her young and athletic appearance. Long’s legs were amputated when she was 18 months old due to the rare birth defect fibular hemimelia.

“I was never bullied as a kid, and I didn’t know that I would be bullied as an adult because I park in [accessible spaces],” Long said.

@jessicatatianalongTo the handicap police… be kind! ???????? ##amputeelife ##fyp♬ orijinal ses – cagritaner

Long isn’t the only person with an invisible disability to face scrutiny while using disability parking spots. Mighty contributor Cyd O. wrote about what non-disabled people should keep in mind if they think someone improperly parked in handicapped parking.

“As a society we need to learn not to appoint ourselves as accessibility police, and understand it is not our individual jobs to judge people we come across in public,” Cyd O. wrote.

For everyone who does judge, Long also has a message. “To all the [disability] police out there, just be kind,” Long said. “You don’t need to know why someone parked in [an accessible space]. Just be kind.”

Image via Jessica Long/TikTok

Originally published: January 22, 2021
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