Handicap spaces in parking lots are reserved for people who need them. People who take those space even though they don’t need them are awful. But that’s why cars have tags and license plates that show who can and cannot use the reserved spaces. The job of figuring out who can and cannot use a reserved space has been taken. The role does not need to be filled by self-righteous parking lot vigilantes, like the one who allegedly vandalized the car of a woman with brain cancer, because they thought she had taken a handicap space illegally.
Lexi Baskin recently posted to the Love What Matters Facebook group that her car had been covered in fliers shaming her for using the handicap spot.
Just because a person can walk does not mean they can’t park in handicap spaces.
“Shame on you!” the fliers read. There were little icons of a person in a wheelchair that said “Not really handicapped, just lazy.”
The fliers were all over the car. They said: “There are legit handicapped people who need this parking space. We have seen you and your friend come and go and there is nothing handicapped about either of you. Your tag must be borrowed or fake. We will make every effort to see you fined or towed for being such a selfish, terrible person.”
This is appalling. Did someone seriously have all those fliers and tape printed and ready to go? And did someone seriously prepare all this tape and fliers and not give a single moment’s thought to the idea that there are invisible disabilities?
Baskin can walk just fine. But she is legally allowed to use the handicap parking space because she has brain cancer. She has access to handicap spots because she’s going through cancer treatment, which is brutal. It’s physically excruciating and exhausting. Just because she isn’t in a wheelchair doesn’t mean she can’t use the spot.
Many people live with invisible health issues.
There are a ton of reasons a person could have a handicap license plate. Off the top of my head I’ve known people who had handicap tags and license plates for severe asthma (severe enough that she kept an oxygen tank in her car), heart conditions, and intense chronic pain. All those people reported being accosted in parking lots by furious strangers calling them monsters for using the handicap parking spaces.
Many people live with serious, invisible illnesses. They have legal access to the handicap parking spaces. And they don’t deserve to be accosted by strangers and yelled at or questioned about their parking spaces.
Yes, some entitled assholes take handicap parking spaces without reason. But if a car with the proper plates and tags parks in a handicap space, leave the people in it alone, even if they look “healthy.”
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