This has been mulling on my heart for awhile, so I thought I would pose this to all the parents out there.
Imagine you are taking your child to the park or movie theater or someplace special. Your child is so excited to go and has been anticipating this for awhile, but when you get there there is no safe space for your car to park so you can get your child out safely. Most people in the parking spaces are not even getting out of their cars, they are just sitting on their phone. You ask if they can move so you can take your child in but you are sneered at, insulted, and even told “I’m not parking.” Some even make snide remarks towards your child. You leave to go home and your child cries.
Imagine this scenario happening everywhere you go, even at your child’s school which is supposed to be a safe place for your child. Either without a tag, with an expired tag, or using someone else’s tag. Handicapped spaces being used “just for a minute” or used just because they think they have a right means that people who need those spaces don’t have a safe place to get their child out of the car. I’ve honestly been shocked and appalled by some of the attitudes I’ve encountered. When you say something parents are saying “I’m not parking” or getting nasty or acting like you have the right to be there unless the cop is there monitoring those spaces. Imagine the example you are setting for your child in how they may treat their peers with disabilities. Especially when your child has a disability that hinders their ability to walk or like my child who uses a wheelchair the only safe place is a handicapped space and we are often cut off by those who are not using those spaces appropriately. I’ve noticed that no one takes the “reserved for ____ family spaces” at schools but the handicapped spaces are used all the time for parking, drop off, running your child’s lunch in, etc and then we are stuck waiting for the space to open up and then end up being late to school or blocked from attending somewhere.
When you have a child with a disability or you are an adult with a disability, often your only options for accessing places are the 1-3 handicapped spaces available. Those with wheelchair vans often have only one choice and that is the “wheelchair van accessible” spaces and sometimes there is only one of those. Often times those spaces are blocked by regular cars or by people sitting on their phones. At school regular parents have multiple options for getting their kids to school they can use the kiss and go line, they can park and walk in. Other places there are multiple parking options for those without disabilities. We have one option. You shouldn't need police there monitoring handicapped spaces or cones blocking them from being used during school pickup. You should be able to just do the right thing and leave those spaces for those who need them. #Mamabear #HandicappedParking #InclusionAndSpecialNeeds