No Plates. No Placard. No Parking.

Parking Spaces for People with Disabilities: The Abuse

The laws surrounding designated parking spaces for people with disabilities are confusing, as laws and fines regarding disabled parking abuse vary by municipality. No matter the place, however, one fact remains true. No plates? No Placard? Then no parking.

  • Nearly all respondents (96%) have seen people who do not appear to be disabled using parking designated for persons with a disability.

Parking Spaces for People with Disabilities: A Civil Right

Here are the topline findings of a 2015 online survey to 725 people conducted by Amélie Company:

• Nearly all participants (96%) believe that parking lots usually have one or more accessible spots.
• A majority of respondents (69%) think that the law requires accessible parking, while 21% think that it is only required in public parking lots.
• A majority of respondents (67%) think there are enough (50%) or more than enough (17%) accessible parking places. Conversely, only about one-third of respondents think there are not enough accessible parking spots.
• Disabled respondents are far more likely to think there is not enough accessible parking (61%).

Denying Someone Their Civil Right

• Most able-bodied people do not think that access to parking for persons with a disability is a problem – even if they have witnessed abuse.
• They reported that accessible parking is available and there’s plenty of it.
• Despite thinking there is not enough accessible parking, people with disabilities tend to consider this parking a privilege, indicating that their mindset is far from entitled.
• If an able-bodied person takes advantage of a parking spot for a person with disabilities, they are denying that person their civil right to access.

Parking Spaces for People with Disabilities: The Language

• Persons with disabilities. Not: disabled people, handicapped people
• Parking for persons with disabilities. Not: handicap parking
• This is ‘people first’ language. First and foremost, refer to a person, not a disability. People are not defined by the outside event that has affected them.
• Another acceptable term is accessible parking. This term is easy for the public to understand, and refers to the spaces clearly marked for more convenient access.

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