Reposted from lost archives:
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
If you take my park can you take my disability too please?
I surveyed 100 people. Since most respondents were my supporters or people of a like mind I don’t think it’s a true reflection of the general attitude in the community but what it did find might surprise some people.
Imagine, your partner, your child, your friend or even yourself, with a physical disability that impairs your ability to walk so much you have to use a wheelchair. You want to take them out to dinner or you’re going to meet friends for dinner. You arrive at the venue to find there is no disabled parking available either because there just isn’t enough provided or because someone has used the designated spaces without a permit. You have to leave. Go home. Tell your partner or child you can’t get in or worse, call your friends waiting for you to say you can’t park your car because you won’t be able to get out.
Imagine needing to get groceries for dinner and not being able to get into the store because you can’t get out of the car.
This happens to people who have permits to use disabled parking more than you realise. Even I was surprised to see that of the respondents who did have a permit or transport someone who does 87.2% said they have at some stage had to leave a car park because they couldn’t get an adequate parking space to suit their needs.
This has to change. But this is what I will be talking to my local MP about tomorrow afternoon. If you have faced these problems I encourage you to do the same. Write a letter if you can’t get to see them. Organisations have been advocating for people with disabilities for a while but I feel for those of us who can stand up for ourselves (no pun intended), it’s high time we did.
So here are the results.
Thanks again for participating and taking an interest. I’ll keep you updated on how the battle is going.
1. Do you have a disabled parking permit or transport someone who does?
35% said they either have a permit or transport someone who does.
The rest said no.
2. If you don’t have a permit do you think it’s acceptable to us a disabled parking space if you’re only going to be a few minutes?
97% said no. – But you’d be surprised how often it happens.
3. If you don’t have a permit do you think it’s acceptable for parents with prams to use disabled parking?
99% said no.
4. If you DO have a permit, do you find it difficult to find appropriate parking when you go out
5. If you DO have a permit, have you ever had to leave a car park because you couldn’t find an appropriate parking space?
56.4% said they have but not often
30.8% said it happens a lot
only 12.8% say it’s never happened to them.
6. Have you ever seen designated disabled parking spaces that were unsuitable or poorly designed for disabled use?
59.8% said yes. (I’ve seen spaces you can’t even open the door properly in)
7. Are you aware that using disabled parking incurs a fine in Australia?
Only 88% said yes. Considering 35% of respondents are permit holders it says a lot.
8. Do you believe disabled parking regulations are enforced enough in your area?
A whopping 90.5% said NO!
9. Do you think places like shopping centres, provide better parking for parents with prams than they do for people with disabilities.
83.8% said yes. Many people have given me specific examples.
10. If you were fined for illegally using a disabled parking space without a permit would it deter you from doing it again?
88.5% of people said Yes.