I'm sure this has been discussed before but I have to say...I am sick and tired of trying to get a handicapp VAN Acessible parking spot and finding a car..with no lift device or ramp...in that parking spot! Do you guys have the same problem and if so, any advice?

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Hi Linda,

We sometimes come up against the same thing, not enough handicapped spots. My understanding, such as it is, is the placard allows you to park anywhere. I occasionally need to use the van spots and do without hesitation although I don't have a van & lift yet. When I take my sons to science camp at the local Jr College I am allowed to use the Dean's parking stall because of the placard.

We do what is necessary to make Alexander's life a bit easier. I can't imagine there is a cop in the world that would ticket a handicapped driver for using the wrong parking stall.

cheryl
Hi Cheryl,
Trust me..when you finally get the van with the lift, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
When you say a VAN spot, has Texas now gone one stage further than the red/blue placards?

Or are you meaning that people are parking in the spots without a placard at all?

(I only ask as there is obviously 2 different approaches to take depending on the situation)
Well Texas has wider handicapp parking for accessible vans. It specifically states on the space. I understand if it's the last parking spot left and you are handicapp then sure...take it. But I'm talking about going somewhere where there is obviously many spots to choose from that are handicapp but they choose van accessible spaces. What happens is that when this occurs we can't pull in all the way so we have to stop in the middle of the road and my son out and then I have to place my son somewhere safe so I can pull all the way back in. While I'm pulling myself all the way back in, he's still in the parking lot in his chair. I don't know about you're area but these people drive like morons, especially in the Wal-Mart parking lot and it really scares me to have to leave him alone, even for just a second, like that. It's just plain dangerous and I don't think people realize that. I guess I got a little frustrated when I read Cheryl's post. I was asking for advice on what to do, I wasn't asking for reasons why it's okay to take a van acessible spot. I also kind get frustrated with the whole website sometimes because you have alot of parents with very young children who have no idea what's ahead and my children are older and they have no clue about what it's like for me but still, they give their input on subjects that they have no clue about. I know that sounds harsh but that's the way I feel right now. My son is having surgery on Thursday and it's going to be an extensive surgery...6-8 hrs...maybe that's why I'm feeling so frustrated. But anyways, do you have any advice on what to do?

Julie Gilmore said:
When you say a VAN spot, has Texas now gone one stage further than the red/blue placards?

Or are you meaning that people are parking in the spots without a placard at all?

(I only ask as there is obviously 2 different approaches to take depending on the situation)
Linda:

Which one of your boys is having surgery? Is it spinal fusion? Not trying to be nosey but I want to include him in my prayers tonight. My son had spinal fusion when he was almost 13. I totally understand how you are feeling today and my heart goes out to you. If you want to talk more shoot me an email.

Kim
OK, firstly good luck with your sons surgery (I'm guessing he is having a spinal fusion......)
Please know our thoughts will be with you at this tricky time.

Secondly when you have a parent such as Cheryl giving feedback there are two ways to look at it, get frustrated about the whole, not walking a mile in my shoes yet, or understand that if the parents of younger boys with DMD don't get these issues, its almost impossible for people outside the DMD community to even begin to comprehend what we are going through.....

Knowing how frustrated you are at the moment the best advice I could give would be to start writing down the numbers of the placard users that are parking in the wrong bays.... (even with a placard you can still be fined in Texas for abusing the system). It may feel like an awful thing to do, but if the alternative is putting your sons safety in jeopardy then you really don't have a choice. You could even ask for them to receive a caution rather than the hefty fine - because for anyone witha conscience it will be something they only do once..... Don't feel bad if you use this option - people only learn from education and a fine or a caution is a great teacher....

We all know that people don't do it to deliberately make our days awful, but like so many people nowadays they only think of their own needs.....and at times like this when you have so many other stresses going on, you certainly don't need the unnecessary worries this problem presents

I am the ogre of disabled parking spots, and am frequently reporting people for illegally parking in marked bays - it embarasses my husband, but as I explain to him, the problem won't be fixed if no-one makes a call.... to my suprise the other day when we went out and a car parked in the wrong bay, he went up and spoke to the driver. The guy told my hubby to "get stuffed, I'll park where I like", so he walked back to our car and made the call himself (I was so proud).


Good luck with everything and know that you can message me anytime if you just want to vent.....
Hi there,
no it's not the spinal fusion yet, he's only 10 right now going on 11 in june. they are actually going to work on his feet, knees, and hips to release the contractures. he will have a cast from his waist down and because they are doing all of that, it's considered a major surgery and I do hope that you include us in your prayers, i think thats the only thing that i know will help. thanks so much and may God bless you as well.
Kimberly Reed Foernsler said:
Linda:

Which one of your boys is having surgery? Is it spinal fusion? Not trying to be nosey but I want to include him in my prayers tonight. My son had spinal fusion when he was almost 13. I totally understand how you are feeling today and my heart goes out to you. If you want to talk more shoot me an email.

Kim
your right julie, and if cheryl would have given me some advice rather than give me a reason why its okay to park in a handicapp parking space (van accessible) then it would be different.

thanks for wishing us well at the surgery...we sure need it
I will keep you and your son in my prayers, Linda. My son is 19 and we have a side-access wheelchair accessible mini-van. When I encounter the situation you're talking about, I pull up to the parking space sideways and let the ramp down in to the spot...then, when Christopher rolls over to a safer area, I pull in and park in the spot. Finding a safer area to wait, while I'm parking the van is not always the easiest task, but we've managed it. Good luck with the surgery....Tracie
Linda, You and your son are in my thoughts today!

I don't have any advice on the van access issue. However, my son reports cases of misuse of the handicap parking places on this website. He has even posted pictures of the offending vehicle. http://www.handicappedfraud.org/.

Again -- best wishes to your son. Rosie
As we are beginning the process of getting a power chair for my son your posts remind me to ask this question. I assume LInda that you have a lift on the side of your vehicle. For those that have lifts do you think a rear lift would be better? Seems like that way you could actually park where ever you want. But, with a rear lift are you getting in and out right in the lane of traffic?

This post is also helpful to those who have a placard that when they are parking that they should be aware that there may be two types of handicapped spots. I have been to places that have all van accessible, regular handicapped, or a combination of both. I agree more people need to be aware that if you don't need the van accessible spot and the other option is available you should use it instead.
I just got my van with a rear ramp in December. I wanted the rear ramp exactly for that reason - I felt that I would have problems with getting in and out of the van with a side ramp. When Jason goes down the ramp in his power chair, I make sure that I am standing at the back of the van so that I can watch the traffic if necessary. It has been working out well. I am very happy with my choice of the rear ramp.

Holly

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