Our 11 year old daughter has a disabled parking permit as a result of her disabilities. I am sick of people judging us and making comments or glaring at us for parking in disabled parking spots as if we have no right. Young people can have disabled parking permits too!
Our daughter wears splints on her legs, she struggles to walk on uneven ground, slopes and has a perceptual issue if there are cracks or different surfaces. She needs to hold on to someones arm or hand to walk and has a wheelchair for longer distances. I am sure she would prefer to be able to walk like everyone else and not need a parking permit. We are a very active family and I can guarantee we don’t use it just to save us having to walk a couple of extra metres. It is about making our daughters life a little easier for her and especially in bad weather. She is eleven and doesn’t want me to have to carry her and she is too big now for me to do that anyway.
Some examples of what we have had happen includes a man pulling up next to my parked car as I am putting in the groceries who shook his head then asked me if I realised it was a “disabled park”. Of which I replied “Yes and this is my disabled daughter in the back”. He just scoffed so I then said “Would you like to take her home for a week I am sure you’ll bring her back”. He then drove off. My son was impressed with my calm reply.
Another time we all went shopping. Our daughter was with us of course and was walking holding our hand. A lady looked at us then said to her husband “I guess anyone can borrow their parents disabled sticker”. I just looked at my husband and said “really”. I couldn’t even reply to that one it just blew me away the ignorance of some people.
The other day my daughter and I were at the hospital getting her splints fitted. When we were leaving and about to pay at the ticket booth he said that will be $5. I asked “even with the disabled sticker” knowing it should have been only $2.50 and that is what I had got out of my wallet. He raised his eyebrows and scoffed at me. I always pay the full amount except when it is an appointment for my daughter. I don’t have a problem paying for parking. It was just the way he looked at me that upset me.
We take our daughter to school where she is in year 5 and my husband and I often share stories of people who don’t know us staring at us, shaking their heads or even looking at the ticket in our window I can only assume to check it is ours. When our daughter started at the school there were no parking spots and I use to have to lift her into and out of my car. After suffering from sore shoulders and back we asked the school to look into a disabled parking spot as we already had a ticket even back then. They applied to council and the school now has two disabled parking spots.
We have never used our disabled parking permit illegally. I just hate how we are judged just because we are young that our family doesn’t deserve or have the right to park in a disabled parking spot.
I want to spread awareness that Young People Can Have Disabled Parking Permits Too and stop the judgements and ignorance that some people display.