Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hey! They Don't Look Disabled!

My sister & one of my business partners, Allyson found this great article on an equally great website Invisible Illness.

Hey! They Don't LOOK Disabled!

Who Is Allowed To Park In those Disabled Parking Spaces, Anyway?

Have you ever seen someone get out of a car parked in a space reserved for the disabled, who did not LOOK disabled? Did it make you very uncomfortable or even upset? Did you let them know of your disapproval by giving them a dirty look or yelling something at them?

Well, you are not alone. Many people are very disturbed by the sight of a seemingly mobile person stealing the space of someone who is truly in need of it. After all, we want to protect the rights of people for whom these spaces are reserved!

However, in wanting to help those who deserve these parking spaces, we actually may be hurting someone who does have a legal right and a legitimate need to park there. How can this be true, you ask? Isn’t it obvious who is and who is not disabled? The answer is... NO.

The qualifications for the general accessible parking spaces include those using chairs, walkers, crutches and canes, as well as some whose impairments are not always so obvious to the onlooker. I refer to these impairments which cause disabilities that are not so apparent from the outside, as "invisible disabilities."

There are thousands of people who are forced to contend with serious illnesses, injuries and circumstances, which have left them with mountains to climb every time they take a step. Most people do not realize that a person can have hindrances that come from the inside and may not even be visible on the outside. Their restrictions may not be conspicuous at a glance, but their pain, limitations and inability to function normally is all very debilitating in reality.

Click here to read the whole article
by Written by Sherri L. Connell, BA
Copyright © 1997, Revised 2002
The Invisible Disabilities Advocate

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