Tag Archives: parking

Recommended Reading for November 30, 2010

Jessica Pauline Ogilvie for the Los Angeles Times: Stuttering: Working to free the words

An estimated 3 million American adults have a stutter that didn’t resolve in childhood, according to the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation of America. As kids, many dealt with the giggles of classmates and confusion of teachers; as adults, they often deal with uncertain glances and the impatience of strangers. They’ve long sought comfort from each other, sharing their experiences at conferences and advocacy groups.

Eli Clare at eliclare.com/blog: Disability Pride (from a few months ago, but definitely worth a read!)

Disability Pride calls for celebration, hope, rebellion. We take shame, fear, and isolation, turn them around, and forge wholeness. Pride refuses to let the daily grind of ableism, discrimination, exclusion, violence, and patronizing define who we are. Pride knows our history, joyfully insists upon our present, and stretches into our future.

Wheelchair Dancer at cripwheels: disability is a feminist issue

By using disability as she does, she makes herself smaller, less objectionable to the man; she dismisses herself and undervalues herself. She does her best to dodge what might be a harsh remark
about her intellectual capacities. She does disability in the old way, a way in which the value of our diverse minds and bodies is not acknowledged. Her disability is a weakness that separates her from an actively feminist goal of being an equal partner in the conversation and the game.

Brittany-Ann at A Bookish Beemer: A Glimpse of an Employed Epileptic

I know. I’m saying it’s wrong. I’m saying that the hoops one has to jump through, if neurologically atypical as I am, just to ensure you’re not fired because of being neurologically atypical, is ridiculous. That I should first have to reveal my medical history (which is private) to my managers, then explain to them what epilepsy is, THEN explain how it affects me, to finally say that it might prevent me from coming into work someday in the future, maybe, is ridiculous.

WHEELIE cATHOLIC: Dear Illegal Parker

As I passed the half a dozen handicap spots, I noticed that your car didn’t even have a placard or plate. I wondered why even on Thanksgiving at a senior housing complex, someone would illegally park in an accessible spot. I suppose you didn’t think someone in a wheelchair might really need that spot.

If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading at disabledfeminists dot com. Please note if you would like to be credited, and under what name/site.

Recommended Reading for November 29, 2010

Readers are warned that we do not control the spaces that are linked and articles and especially comments may be offensive or triggering. Use caution! These links are provided for information only and our linking them does not imply an endorsement of their viewpoint or arguments.

AllAfrica: Nigeria: 2011 Elections – A Case for Persons With Disabilities

Victor Oloche, 52, has never voted in his life. The reader could hurriedly pass him off as an unpatriotic Nigerian or at worse, an illiterate, perhaps unenlightened person or maybe a miscreant who does not know the importance of exercising his electoral and political rights. Wrong! He has formal education; he has no criminal record. There is just one problem. Victor had his two hands amputated when he was 12 after a freak domestic accident. Waving his severed limbs, Oloche tells the reporter, “I can’t vote because I don’t have any thumb with which to thumbprint ballot papers”. Oloche is a mere statistic among the estimated 20 million Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria automatically disenfranchised by virtue of their disability. The number of PWDs of voting age among this group cannot be verified.

Chicago Tribune: Policing disabled parking

As holiday shoppers flock to the malls this weekend, state law enforcement will crack down on those who illegally park in spots designated for people with disabilities. Beginning Friday, the Illinois secretary of state police, a division of the secretary of state’s office, will target parking lots at Chicago-area malls in Woodfield, Oak Brook, Orland Park and downstate in Bloomington, Carbondale, Fairview Heights and Springfield. The fine for illegally parking in spots designated for the disabled is as much as $350. The fine for those without disabilities caught displaying disability-marked license plates or placards can be as much as $500. Violators could also see their licenses suspended for 30 days.

Sify: Disabled to march in Delhi for rights

Some will be on their wheelchairs, others will be led by their friends or supported by their crutches. On Dec 3 nearly 5,000 disabled people are expected to march in the capital in support of their right to better facilities including a separate ministry for the community. Javed Abidi, chairperson of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP) said: ‘We have been demanding for a separate ministry for the disabled population for long now. The issue of disability is a part of the social justice and empowerment ministry at the moment but is hardly on the radar of the minister’.

Radio New Zealand News: Woman held in secure facility without legal authority

The Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner says it’s a tragedy that a woman kept in a secure rest home without legal authority for more than a year didn’t live to see her rights recognised. In findings released on Tuesday, Rae Lamb says the Auckland woman, who has since died, was kept in the facility against her wishes. Ms Lamb says the woman, who had complex problems, was discharged from Auckland City Hospital into the Oak Park Dementia secure unit in 2007. But a breakdown in DHB processes meant legal authority wasn’t obtained. The 43-year-old woman asked repeatedly to leave and was backed in this by a doctor and some others.

Houston Chronicle: Mental health care in schools at crossroads

Early intervention and easy access to care are critical in keeping mentally ill youths in school and out of jail, mental health advocates say. Yet only a handful of Houston-area schools offer mental health services. “The good news is that we have some treatment and models of services that work,” said Dr. Bill Schnapp, director of community psychiatry at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. “The bad news is that we don’t have them uniformly available for our children. If you put services in schools, a lot of kids get a lot more help.”

California Healthline: Supreme Court to Hear Case on Prison Health Care in California

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear California’s appeal of a court order that called for the state to reduce its inmate population by 40,000 to ease overcrowding and improve prison health care conditions, the Los Angeles Times reports (Savage/Williams, Los Angeles Times, 11/29). Last year, a federal three-judge panel ruled that inadequate medical and mental health care in California’s 33 prisons amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Mintz, San Jose Mercury News, 11/28). On average, one California inmate dies from inadequate health care every eight days, the Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 11/29). According to the three-judge panel, prison overcrowding is the root cause of inadequate care.

Dear Imprudence: Who Appointed You the Parking Police?

This week’s livechat with Prudence featured a question that seems to crop up endlessly, like, pretty much whenever a person with a disabled parking placard pulls up to a parking space and gets out of ou car:

Q. Parking Lot Etiquette: I live in an apartment that overlooks the building’s handicapped parking spots. I have noticed one young woman, who has a blue permit, using one of the three spots every day, as if it is her own. The problem is, when she gets out of her car, she has no visible handicap. I would also add that other residents have to pay for their own spot, and she drives a late model Audi, so I don’t think she’s too poor to pay herself. I suppose she may have some handicap that isn’t visible, but is that what the spaces near the door are really intended for? I notified the manager, who I don’t think is going to do anything, and will probably leave it at that. But am I crazy for letting this bother me? Signed, Auto Fixated.

Oh  my stars, y’all! She’s, like, totally not disabled! ’cause she drives an Audi!

Prudence delivered the goods:

A: There have been interesting studies that show society actually functions better when certain people are willing to take on the role of unofficial police. Shaming the able-bodied who take handicapped parking spaces is a favorite outlet for these enforcers. However, the danger for such people is that they end up being unpleasant busybodies or worse. I have heard from many seemingly able-bodied people who have mild MS, say, but are constantly getting reamed out by “do-gooders” when they take a handicapped parking space. The woman you’re seeing has a permit, and you don’t know what might actually be wrong with her. She doesn’t appear to be preventing anyone who needs the space from filling it. So get over your fixation and find something that really needs fixing.

So, here’s the dealio, parking police: stop it.

No, really, that’s about all I have to say. A person with a disabled placard or plates owes no obligation to you. Is not required to specify and explain, in detail, the nature of ou disabilities. Period. Placards get assigned to people who need them1, and plenty of people who don’t have, ah, ‘visible handicaps’ do in fact need to take advantage of disabled parking spots. It’s nice that Prudence provided an example of a disability that might be nonevident, but still require the use of disabled parking, but, honestly? She didn’t need to. Because the takeaway lesson is that where people with disabilities park, and their disabilities, is not your business.

Yes, even if they are driving nice cars.

Additionally, if you do not need disabled parking because you are not disabled? Please stop using our damn parking already. Yes, even if it’s just for a minute. Yes, even if you were totally planning to move if someone needed it.

  1. And thanks to weird policies, some people who need them can’t get them.

Parking spaces – Daily Mail Fail

The Daily Fail has a little maths problem. OK, they have a little everything problem, but in this particular case, well, you be the judge: Revealed: Why all those disabled bays stay empty

Hundreds of thousands of prime parking spaces in shopping centres are unused because of a legal obligation to provide four times as many disabled bays than are actually needed.

Supermarkets, shopping centres and leisure centres must allocate up to 6 per cent of their parking bays for disabled badge holders – even though just 1.4 per cent of the population is registered disabled*. […]

Campaigners are furious at the number of vacant disabled bays and believe more should be done to tilt the balance in favour of drivers with young children.

OK, so let’s do the math. On a small scale, anyhow. My family is 33.3% disabled. When we go out together, we need accessible parking 100% of the time. Oh, and we’re one of those mythical families, Daily Mail writers, that includes both a PWD and a young child. I know you think we don’t exist. But we’re right here.

Extrapolate up through the population, and suddenly those 6% figures (which only apply to small lots in the UK – large lots only need 4%) don’t look so excessive, do they?

Here’s another thing: When nondisabled people can’t find a space close by, they park further away and walk. When a disabled person can’t find an accessible space, she turns around and goes home. If the math doesn’t convince you, the social justice should.

In Australia? Only 1-2% – ONE to TWO PERCENT – of spaces are required to be accessible. 4% of Australians require accessible parking (do the math – this means that more than 4% of vehicles may contain a PWD who needs the accessibility), and that number is rising. AFDO recommends that a ratio of 10% may be more appropriate.

Many small businesses, including medical clinics, have no accessible parking at all. Many designated marked spaces do not meet standards and may not be accessible for all PWD – not wide enough, heavily sloping, blocked or non-existent access lanes and kerb cuts, further away from entrances than the “non-accessible” spots (I’m looking at you, IKEA), and so on.

“Cracking down” on parking permit abuse makes currently-nondisabled folks feel righteous, but it doesn’t do the job. We need more spaces, and we need compliant spaces.

*I’m assuming the 1.4% applies to those with blue badges in the UK, since around 20% of the population actually has a disability.

Stop and think: invisible access for invisible disabilities

[This post was originally posted at Hoyden About Town on May 4, 2007.]

This is my first personal post about being sick. A “coming-out”, to some of my online friends. And a whole lot of elaboration, for those who know I’m sick, but don’t know the details. It’s taken me ages to write, and I haven’t re-drafted it: here are my musings, in the raw.

Becoming Sick

I have moderately severe chronic fatigue syndrome, or something that looks very much like it. I first got sick two and a half years ago, quite suddenly. After a few months of feeling just a bit off, not bouncing back with my self-prescribed generic good-food-and-fun-and-exercise cure for tiredness, I suddenly crashed. Over the course of about two weeks, I crashed hard. I became unable to work, and daily living was full of what suddenly seemed to be insurmountable obstacles. I dropped things, felt off balance, walked into things, had large-muscle twitches, thermoregulation problems, I was suddenly blanketed in pain. My short-term memory came and went and I couldn’t concentrate on more than one thing at once, a huge change in cognitive function for me. Most noticeably, activity didn’t pick me up like it always had in the past. Before, if I felt a little off I could go for a bike ride or a swim or a choir rehearsal or a night out dancing, and feel invigorated by it. After, I’d walk a couple of blocks then flump down absolutely exhausted. This was the first time I’d ever felt like this, and it didn’t make any sense! Continue reading Stop and think: invisible access for invisible disabilities