Since we are starting a new year, I have some reminders for fully abled people when you encounter the disabled. When you’re driving and pull up to a crosswalk or a sidewalk, don’t block the space with your vehicle. It doesn’t save you any time and it forces me in my powerchair, and others, to serve into traffic to get around you.
The parking spaces and bathroom stalls marked with a little blue wheelchair are not for you; they are for people with special needs. That big steel bar along the wall is not a place to balance your drink, it’s there to help people like me get up and down. The stall is a little larger not to make it easier to spread out your sports section, but it is larger because sometimes our care takers have to help us.
And saying “I will only be a minute” while parked in a disabled parking space doesn’t allow you to be there. Let’s use some common sense as we begin 2021.
When you see me or any other disabled person, please don’t be afraid to talk to me. I would rather talk to you about what happened to me than have you be afraid to make eye contact with me.
Here’s to a healthy, healing and hopeful 2021.