This week we are back at it talking about debunking misconceptions surrounding wheelchair users. Today, we want to focus on kindness and things you can do to make others lives a little easier.
Accessible Parking Misconceptions
Accessible parking spots are only for those with a physical disability.
First- People without disabilities can park in an accessible parking space, if it’s only for a few minutes.
It is never okay to park in an accessible parking space. UNLESS you have a placard, permit, or disability parking plates. The purpose of these spots is to make it so those with disabilities have room to enter and exit their vehicle.
Second- Can I park in the striped area next to the parking spot?
No. These areas are called access lanes. If a vehicle uses a wheelchair lift, an assistive device, or just needs the extra room to get in and out of their vehicle, this area provides that necessary space.
Not all disabilities are VISIBLE. There are chronic conditions and/or invisible disabilities that qualify the use of an accessible parking permit, placard, or license plate. Presume that someone parked in an accessible spot who is not a wheelchair user or using a mobility device is allowed to be there.
Misconceptions About Disability Amenities
Along the same vein; these next misconceptions are about courtesy and not using resources meant for others if you don’t need them.
First- I don’t need to save the accessible bathroom stall for those who might need it.
The larger size accessible bathroom stalls allows wheelchair users, and others using mobility devices to rotate their equipment 180-degrees to access the toilet and use the grab bars. Just because someone doesn’t ‘look’ like they need to use the stall doesn’t mean that they don’t have a legitimate need for it.”
Second- Elevators are only for my convenience
While elevators are nice. For wheelchair users and others, a working elevator is a necessity (2010 ADA Standards for Accessibility). Please don’t push yourself in front of people who might need it.
Activities that are Wheelchair Accessible for Most
Bottom Line: Choose Kindness
The bottom line is always the same. Choose kindness and treat others with respect. Don’t assume to know what’s best for others, but be courteous.
As always, Explore Confidently Friends!