If you have MS it’s probably happened to you.
You have trouble walking but the few accessible parking spots in the lot are full.
You find an accessible spot but someone is parked in the hash-marked area and there’s no room to get your chair or scooter out of your van.
There are parking spots but the curb cut to the sidewalk is blocked.
So, you mutter a few words under your breath and drive on.
But I’ve just discovered a new group that’s trying to make parking better for those of us with a disability. It’s called the Accessible Parking Council. And it’s going to be participating in a stakeholders’ forum about accessible parking and handicapped placard abuse in a few weeks. The session, on December 6, will be held by the U.S. Access Board. That’s the federal agency that’s responsible for developing and updating the guidelines of the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
Even better than that….you can have your voice heard at that forum by participating in an on-line survey. The Accessible Parking and Placard Abuse survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and it’s hoped that it will impact policies related to parking for people with a handicap.
“Abuse and other significant issues preventing people with disabilities from using accessible parking have not been adequately addressed on the national level,” says Helena Berger, President & CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities. “The results from this survey — provided by individuals with disabilities that need accessible parking — should go a long way in developing the right national solutions to this age-old problem.”
But, time is of the essence. In order for the results to be presented at the December forum you need to complete the survey by November 1. That’s only a few days from now. I’ll be doing that as soon as I finish writing this post.