How do we start campaigning for shade over accessible parking spots?
Parked cars in the Australian sun get way too hot at the best of times, no matter how able-bodied you are. But lots of people with disabilities have further issues with temperature regulation and/or high temperatures making them sick. People with spinal injuries can have major issues keeping their body temperature stable. People with multiple sclerosis can be made very ill very suddenly by overheating. People with CFS or fibro can have similar issues with temperature regulation or overheating. Head injuries or Parkinson’s disease or stroke or diabetes or lung cancer or extensive burns scars or who take certain medications can all reduce a person’s ability to stay safe in the heat.
Assembling a scooter exposed to the baking sun in a car park is no fun at all. People in body casts or braces can’t dress down effectively for the heat. You can probably name more. This isn’t a tiny or ‘niche’ issue. This affects a lot of us.
Putting simple shadecloth or tin roofs or established-tree shades over accessible parking would be simple and inexpensive, especially given how few spots there actually are. But I regularly see lots of tree shade over the non-accessible spots, with the “accessible” spots out in the baking sun.
I expect this is almost entirely because of ignorance. How do we start getting the word out?
3 thoughts on “Activism suggestion: How about shade for “accessible” parking spots?”
This is a good point. North Texas isn’t quite as sunny but it does get really hot. Unfortunately I can’t see this happening in my area except to trigger a huge amount of backlash. “We already provide [not enough] accessible [if you don’t have a chair or scooter lift on the side of your vehicle] parking, what more do you cripples want?”
(One around here that infuriates me is the eight zillion places that have ‘complimentary’ valet parking that blocks off the accessible parking. I don’t know if it’s legal or not but they do it constantly and if it’s not legal it isn’t enforced. I resent having to wait, standing, for someone to go fetch my car — who will expect to be paid — when I could have parked it myself earlier, kept my keys, and been gone already.)
At least in Darwin, the heat and sun seems to be taken pretty seriously here, so I think that having this raised as an issue would get a fair chance of being listened to. I assume it that it is simply ignorance that the accessible spots are not shaded. I’m applying for a permit next week, and I think I’m going to make some phone calls to the Darwin City Council about this issue (once I get the permit approved).
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but until I started talking to you, I had never considered heat = pain. For us, of course, the worse season for a pain-related disability issue is winter. Don’s already getting all the aches and pains that will lead to him not going out for most of the darker months. So, I’m very ignorant on considering heat-related issues at all.
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