I’ll just be a minute: Disability parking etiquette

We have all seen the person without a disability parking in the ADA disability parking spaces at one point or another; whether it was for them to just run to the Redbox, or while waiting for someone to run in and out of the store.  I’ve seen commercial vehicles double-park in the handicapped parking place and/or block multiple spots with little to no regard to the people who need to access these parking spaces.  Anyone who has experienced this situation knows how frustrating it can be to see people without disabilities or those who “appear” to not have a disability using the accessible parking.  Here are a few items related to disability parking etiquette:

    • NEVER park in a space reserved for people with disabilities UNLESS you have a permit, placard or handicapped parking plates. It’s the courteous thing to do—and it’s the law.
    • Not all disabilities are VISIBLE.  It is easy to look a person who is not using a cane, walker, wheelchair, or other assistive devices but parked in the accessible spot and presume that they should not be parked there.  There are chronic conditions and/or invisible disabilities that qualify.  Don’t judge by appearances.
    • Not all accessible spaces are created equal.  Some spaces are labeled “van accessible” with access lanes marked on either side of the lane.  If do not need to park in a “van accessible” space and other accessible parking is available leave van accessible spaces open for vehicles equipped with wheelchair lifts.
    • DO NOT park in the access lanes.  These areas have been marked to provide extra space for those using wheelchair lifts and/or assistive devices to get in and out of their vehicle.

More information on accessible parking is available through the ADA National Network at adata.org/factsheet/parking.

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About cgraves34

Media Specialist for the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) through Administration for Community Living (ACL) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
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