Mary Lou Ayala
mlayala at juno.com
Wed Nov 26 14:11:58 PST 2003
You are right. I know not everyone who tries to enforce the parking is
bad or is looking for a confrontation. It just seems I've only ever run
into the obnoxious ones. How do you handle approaching someone you
suspect has parked illegally? Do you just ask to see the paperwork that
goes with the sticker? Or does the person actually have to justify their
disability? The way you are explaining it, I suppose it wouldn't be so
bad to be approached if the person were decent and non-threatening. The
information on the teams they are trying to start here says they give 16
hours of training. From my past experiences and with the strong emotions
that handicap parking seems to bring out, I guess I just imagine a bunch
of obnoxious people (now authorized) to give anyone who they deem isn't
deserving a hard time. Maybe too, with trained people out there, the rest
of the public won't be so inclined to jump in. Thank you for your reply.
It did help remind that not everyone out there is icky. Who knows, maybe
I'll go sign up myself. Mary Lou
On Wed, 26 Nov 2003 15:05:56 -0600 "Flink, James (CAdm)"
<jflink at ci.omaha.ne.us> writes:
In Omaha, Ne we have what you said a "Disabled Parking Enforcement Team".
I'm on it and I'm a bi-lateral BK that rides a motorcycle while on
patrol. We take classes as not to confront anyone. If there is any
confrontation we are taught to leave! When we do find someone parked
illegally in a handicap spot, it is usually with an outdated placard, no
handicap emblem on the plates or placard showing, or a mutilated or
altered tag. When we do write the vehicle a ticket, we are taught too
take a photo of the vehicle in front of the handicap sign (from the back
of the parking stall), and of the dash board (cameras are provided by the
police department). This way if the ticket is contested, there is proof
that the vehicle was illegally parked. Not all "Disabled Parking
Enforcement Teams" are bad. I do know that there are a lot of stores
that actually ask the police department to target their handicap stalls
and the police department calls the "Disabled Parking Enforcement Teams"
to assign us those areas to patrol. As you said, that we are not to
confront anyone under any circumstances. If we do leave without putting
the ticket on the vehicle for someone tried to confront us, the ticket is
mailed from the police department with a copy of the photos we took.
From: Mary Lou Ayala [mailto:mlayala at juno.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 1:50 PM
To: Amputee Information Network
Subject: Re: Irritations! (parking)
I was so glad to see your post. This subject is my pet peeve. When I
first lost my leg in 1967, you didn't see many disabled people in public
and there were no such things as handicapped parking and accessibly
issues. Many people back then were still of the opinion that disabled
people should be kept at home so as not to embarrass the public. I think
the Viet Nam veterans totally changed the public's awareness to
disabilities. But I'm getting off the subject. Anyway, I worked extra
hard at learning to walk more normally and hiding my leg so it wouldn't
be so obvious. I also didn't get a handicapped sticker until a few years
ago. And low and behold to my shock, I am constantly harassed and yelled
at if I choose to park in one. I even went a couple years without ever
using my sticker, even when I was really hurting, just so as to not have
to deal with these, "self appointed guardians of handicapped spaces", as
I call them.
About 7 years ago, I was sent outside Washington DC for training for my
job. I had had terrible troubles getting around on that trip and almost
turned around and came home. Anyway, one evening I went to dinner with
some friends from back home and we used my sticker at the restaurant.
After being seated, this large obnoxious (and probably drunk) man came to
our table and started yelling at us for parking in the space. I told him
I was an amputee and couldn't walk very far. That of course went right
over his head and he continued screaming obscenities at us. We had to get
security involved to make this man go away. I was so upset and angry over
this incident that if I hadn't of had on long pants, where I couldn't get
my leg off without taking off my pants, I would have taken off my leg and
thrown it at him. I still get upset thinking about it all this time
My community is launching a, "Disabled Parking Enforcement Team". Isn't'
that just great? Now any obnoxious public member will have the authority
to harass us and give out citations! And you know only the obnoxious
ones are going to want to have this authority. I seem to remember
reading in the ADA that it is against the law to ask someone what their
disability is and/or about their limitations. This type of program,
although I agree is probably well intended, seems to violate our rights
under the ADA and subjects us to the harassment and discrimination the
law was trying to protect us from.
I actually had a city policeman tell me one time that I wasn't disabled
because I could walk! Go figure. I too have seen people that don't appear
to be disabled and I know there is some abuse, but I think they are
taking this issue a little too far. My mother and mother-in-law have
serious heart problems and can not walk very far. Otherwise, they both
"look" as though they are not disabled. As you said very well, Carolyn,
because of my experiences, I try not to be judgmental when I see someone
who doesn't look as though they need handicap parking.
I will forever be amazed that the general public is so concerned over
handicapped parking. I mean how many illegal things do we see in this
country, child abuse, theft, speeding, road rage, welfare fraud, crooked
politicians, etc., that does not even come close to eliciting the same
response from the public as the possibility of someone misusing a
handicap parking space.
Well, thank you for letting me get on my soap box.
On Wed, 26 Nov 2003 12:08:24 -0500 "Carolyn Murphy"
<cdmurphy54 at hotmail.com> writes:
I can relate to the dirty looks you were given. When I first became an
amputee, and walking was still painful and difficult, I used to park in
the Handicapped spaces and I actually had people (TAB) stand outside my
car, waiting to see how "handicapped" I was... I've had people yell rude
things to me such as "Looks like you've got a really hard walk there..."
and people chasing me, "Miss, Did you know you parked in handicapped?!!"-
rude comments like that. I was young, only 18 when it happened, so most
people I guess thought I was abusing the parking space, even though I had
a permit. I was amazed at how mean and unthoughtful people can be. I
see completely able people park in the handicapped spaces all the time,
and I try not to judge, because as Ryan said, they may have a disability
that we can not see. After my experiences, I would never be so rude as to
ask what the nature of their handicap was though.
>From: "Rodger Oleson"
>Reply-To: amp-l at u.washington.edu
>To: "Amputee Information Network"
>Subject: Re: Irritations! (parking)
>Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 10:28:27 -0600
>They had an advertising campaign here a few years ago that went "Look at
the permit not the person" but I don't think that it worked very well!
>I became disabled in '89 due to heart,circulatory and various other
problems. Trouble was that I looked perfectly healthy until you saw me
after I'd walked about 30 feet. Somewhere around 30 yards I had to sit
and rest for about 10 minutes. I sure got a lot of dirty looks when I
pulled into handicapped spaces,even though I had a sticker. Amazingly
none of the folks who were glaring at me were handicapped...only TABS
seemed to be upset. Strange world,isn't it!!! Ole rak
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