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?

Views: 319

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Linda
I understand your frustration. My son is 16 and when I go out with him alone I worry about the parking. One time I park sideways. I dropped the ramp and went into the store and went shopping. I know that isnt allowed but you know what I dont care. I need to keep him safe and if i got a ticket then I will have my husband try and fight it.

Can I request you as friend? My son is 16 so I think I have an understanding to your frustration.

Michelle
Hello, here in Maine there are parking spots with the sign designated for Handicap parking and then there are Van Accessible Handicap parking spaces ( anyway there aren't enough of either anywhere you may live )!
My biggest complaint is on the drivers of handicap vehicles, most here know they will be towed if they park in any handicap spot and I rarely see this anymore. What I have encountered is the handicap people who park where they aren't supposed to be parked and are the first to complain about non-handicap drivers parking in handicap spaces, by this I mean I park in a space ( there is that extra space besides my handicap van with a ramp designated by blue stripes, when I go into the place of business I am at, I come out with my son and land be hold there is a car parked where the blue lines are and they have a handicap plate or handicap card in their window, they should know better. So, in this case I usually have Adam go back to the building and I then go get the van and pull it up to where I can safely load him into the van, and then you have the ignorance of someone blowing the horn at me cause I am holding up traffic. Notice I said safely, one time while loading him in a parking lot due to the situation I mentioned above, a car came pretty close to our van when they came around us and almost hit Adam while on the lift ( our old van had a lift, our new van has a ramp ), tell you I was mot very happy about this close call, if I could have used the van handicap spot then he would of never almost got his.
I have come out of Wal-Mart and I had parked in the last spot close to the door, when we came out there was a vehicle parked right there where there isn't even a parking spot, this time I said no more and went into Wal-Mart with the make and model of the vehicle along with the license plate number, they paged this info and asked the driver to come and please remove there car, this went on for 30 minutes next I called the cops they came, finally the driver came outside, guess what he was walking but, said he had a disability, but forgot to put his placard in the window, well, e wasn't parked in a parking spot let alone a handicap one. I have these cards that I place now on people's windshields that tells them they are breaking the law and am not afraid to put my name and phone number on these cards that I get thru Alpha One.
Like I said I have more of a problem seeing handicap drivers abusing their privileges. I don't even park in these spots when Adam isn't with me ( you aren't supposed to ), even if he is with me, and he wants to saty in the van while I run into the place of business we are at, I don't park in the handicap spaces. Hey, it's the same issue with the people who park where parking is only allowed for emergency vehicles.

You are allowed to park in either of these handicap spaces providing you have a handicap plate or placard, the sign is only stating that it is van accessiible too, if it states van accessiblity only then cars can be asked to move or towed away. We have here where signs do state only for van accessibility and if you park there say with a car with a handicap plate you will be towed. It's that "only" word that makes a difference! Only takes one word to chabge the meaning of a sentence! I have gone up to vehicles windows and knocked on them to get the driver to roll down their window and say excuse me but, I need you to move so, I may get my son into our van ( people that are parked say in those blue striped areas where the ramp or lift need to go into, while the handicap person is in thestore ).
Something I have always wondered about and whose fault it would be if I pressed my automatic button that opens the door and deploys the ramp on our van while heading out of the store to have it ready for Adam, espically when it is raining or snowing to beat the band, imagine doing this with the Ricon lift I had on my old bigger van, imagine the damage to someones car, but, hey they were parked illegally!!!!!!
Cheryl Markey
There are 2 Cheryl's on here replying, please don't mix us up!

I am Cheryl Markey and just got done replying back to handicap parking issues!

Another thing we have noticed....there will be this handicap parking area and then you see a curb, oh great! then you have to travel to the ramp area is, so why even have the handicap space doesn't help out any.....should of just parked in a reg. space.

Or you park in handicap parking and the reg. spaces are closer to the entrance then the handicap spaces are, not too bad really if you are using a wheelchair, but, think of a elderly man or lady that can barely walk, what this means to them!

And I agree about your frustration re: parents of younger children who really haven't even started the Duchenne Journey as I like to refer to it, they are just finding out, their boys are still walking, dressing themselves, feeding themselves......I have lived this Journey and have lived thru it all, Dr.'s you don't like, the school system, finding a first floor or even a handicap accessible apt., apt. after apt., learning things that should have been told to you, but you find out later on and said, man I wish I would have known that, dealing with insurance companies that deny something telling you it is a luxury, from places of businesses that you can't get into the bathroom with your child so he has the diginty to use it just like the rest of us, the list goes on and on and on.....I have done it all, and to have parent tell me that time have changed.....times may have changed with some things, but Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy hasn't changed....it still robs the strength away from our boys just as it did years ago, even with all the leg braces, the steroids, I still see boys stop walking and being confined to wheelchairs at the same age they were being confined to them when we learned of Adam's dx back in 1990, the only thing that has changed is researchers are getting very close to the CURE! and closer since we learned of Adam's dx, the chromosome that is effected was discovered about the same time Adam was diagnosised.
I still hear of the same issues re: what I had to deal with re:SSI, parking spaces, the list goes on here too!
I will not suger coat my answers as it is going to be a long hard journey, you will have roller coaster emotions, you may have to go to counseling and be prescribed anti-depressants, you will get angry, you will become upset, people will say things that will upset you, remember a mother of a healthy child does not know how you feel, just ignore this if you hear this, tell people when hey say wow he is lucky to have a wheelchair to get around in, that you wouldn't wish this on anyone, they wouldn't want to have what your son has, don't feel like you are being mean when you ask someone to move as they are parked where they shouldn't be ( after all we are the Martin Luther King's for our boys and all other handicap people in the world, someone has to speak up to make a change, but, remember you can not do it alone, it takes some to back you up, some have it easier than others, maybe you have the money to build a new handicap accessible home, some don't, some can't even afford the costly vans, some of us have been lucky that we own one, I have given many in our community a ride, because they don't have a accessible van, some have family that come and help, some have that special bond with their parents, one of their parents, a sister etc., some of us don't, we deal with our emotions alone......I have given up so much for my son to have a good quality of life......because I love him.....he was entrusted by God for me to take very good care! and I thank him daily!
And remember there is such a thing as caregiver burnout, I have experienced it!

Take care!
Cheryl Markey
You raised some valid issues Cheryl, but I just wanted to add something (and I know we are going completely off topic, but hey thats the joy of discussion boards)

Yep the mums of the ambulant boys that don't have to deal with respirators and dressing and feeding have no idea how we feel. They don't know what its like to be so tired and frustrated at the whole situation that somedays you just don't know where to begin. But that is where we should be guiding them, helping them, mentoring them for the road ahead. Maybe if they have this support they will not burnout, as they will be prepared rather than shocked like we all were. Maybe we need to give more feedback on discussions that cover issues we no longer have to deal with, and give them the benefit of our experience - strive to make this a journey where they feel supported and encouraged by the many that have walked the path before them. Share our mistakes without feeling like the world will crucify us for them, so others don't have to learn that lesson the hard way too. And when they make comment on matters they don't even understand, rather than belittling them maybe we need to see it for what it is, a friend trying to offer help to someone in need. We don't always get it right, so it's unfair to expect them to.

As far as the parking bay issues go, even though these mums don't have EWC's and ramps/hoists, a lot of them are having to do manual transfers, and this also needs a wider bay, as you have to be able to get the car door open fully in order to do a correct lift (and not put your back out in the process). So they have perspectives on issues that we may have forgotton all about. I know it took this discussion to remind me of those horrible days when it was pouring with rain, and I had to first of all put the manual wheelchair together (whilst trying to hold an umbrella) and then get Mitchell out of the car, without the wheelchair seat getting too wet, and not poking him in the eye with the umbrella that was wedged precariously between us...... none of this can be done in a standard width parking bay, which is why I suspect some of the vehicles parked in van accessible spots are there.

Yes there will always be the inconsiderate people that think their needs are greater than anyone elses, we have huge issues here with non placard vehicles using disabled bays as "5 minute parking spots". For a long time it used to make my blood boil and I would find myself daydreaming about how great it would be to kick their headlights in, or let their tyres down so they could be as inconvenienced as I had been, but in the end I realised that the only person that was going to have their day ruined was me - they didn't care, that's why they parked there in the first place.

So now I just make the call and get them booked in the hopes they wont do it again. I used to also carry little cards that read: "I didn't know ignorance was now a recognised disability however please refrain from using the bays until your sticker (placard) arrives..." They probably screwed it up and threw it away, but it made me feel better that I had done something and shown them that not everyone is impressed with their selfish behaviour....
I understand what Linda is saying. Once you gets a van with a lift Cheryl, I think you will understand more about what Linda is talking about. I have had the problem now for about 13 years as I am down the road more than most. I do feel they should ticket cars that park in a van accessible spots, mostly because when a parent needs to unload their son that has a power chair and they have to do so, from a side lift in their van, there just is not enough room to park right next to a car and use your lift, so therefore you have to put your sons in harms way unloading them in the street and then pulling into the parking spot. I recommend all parents that do have to get a lift to get it in the back of your van, because of this issue, it is very upsetting to pull up to a van accessible spot and find a sports car parked where it plainly says VAN ACCESSIBLE!! I would recommend all parents on here to please NOT park in Van Accessible spots now that you know the issues and problems it can cause. Thank you........ The placard is only suppose to be used if your children are with you too, it is not meant for the parent it is meant for the person in the wheelchair. If my children are not with me,( I even have handicapped tags) I don't even use a handicapped spot, I hope all feel the same way on this one. I like Julie have reported people and have even had them towed.
This is becoming such a great discussion because we are highlighting the issues.....

Maybe the system needs to simplify down to wider bays and standard bays, and the placards issued are done so based on space requirements for safe unloading, rather than just medical condition and proximity to the shops? That way even if a vehicle is parked in a wider bay without a lift or ramp, every other holder of a wide bay placard would know that their personal circumstance is such that this is a necessity, not just plain laziness?

I know that doesn't fix the immediate problem, but I'm a firm believer that it is better to fix it for the long term than to try and fix every individual case as it occurs.
I'm embarassed to admit that I never realized that there were two kinds of handicapped spaces; I usually grab the first available, and if none I'll grab a loading, short term or reserved space, whatever's closest so that I don't have to worry about him falling down if he's working or getting run over if he's on his scooter. Obviously, I'll stay out of the van accessible spaces, hopefully forever. More likely, when Alex needs a chair full time, I'll have no compunction about parking cross wise over as many spaces as I need to unload him.

I think the real problem is that the ADA standard is too low for some locations, for example shopping and entertainment. The law only requires 2% of the total parking (rounded up the closest whole number) be designated as accessible and of those accessible parking spaces, only 1 in 8 (rounded up to the closest whole number) need be van accessible. I've never actually found an open space at a ballgame or amusement park or any place where one would expect to see grandma and grandpa with the grandkids. On the other hand the spaces in my office complex are empty about 95% of the time. Moreover the signage requirement on van accessible spaces is inadequate since there's nothing about it that puts people on notice that the parking space should be reserved for vans only.
We have a side lift. We've found that when we're in an area that doesn't have curb cuts, we can park in a regular spot parallel to the sidewalk; drop the van and the guys are good to go. We've dropped the van onto front porches and decks in the mountains...the guys can then go in through sliders when their electric chairs won't fit through the front door...or get up the front stairs. We've had to be pretty creative at times, but it's worth it. The reality is that every place is not wheelchair accessible, but people have been really helpful as we've entered through loading docks and other unusual places.
Laurie
Hi Guys,

When I responded at the beginning of Linda's post I didn't completely understand what she was having difficulty with. Sometimes I read these posts in too big a hurry. Sorry I misunderstood. It appears as though I raised some tempers and didn't mean to, sorry again.

However, I do park in what stall(s) is available. I typically seek the appropriate ones but it does sometimes mean taking a van accessable spot when I don't have a van. I only do that when there are no options left and this has happened less than 5 times since we received our placard, aprox 1 year ago. I normally park for 1 1/2 hours so I am not "clogging the system". If I am circulating through a parking lot and there is a handicapped van in sight I avoid taking the van stall even tho it means making my son walk much further than he should and navigating thru crowds.

My understanding of using the placard is it allows us to take what ever space is available, even those marked for spaceships if that is all there is. While I am not happy it causes bad feelings for you guys we must realize all of us are trying to do the best we can with what is available. Its very frustrating functioning in a "normal" world with a handicapped child - on many levels. I expect there is more frustration to come as the disease progresses.

But then nobody ever said this was going to be easy...
cheryl cliff







Tanya Fleming said:
I understand what Linda is saying. Once you gets a van with a lift Cheryl, I think you will understand more about what Linda is talking about. I have had the problem now for about 13 years as I am down the road more than most. I do feel they should ticket cars that park in a van accessible spots, mostly because when a parent needs to unload their son that has a power chair and they have to do so, from a side lift in their van, there just is not enough room to park right next to a car and use your lift, so therefore you have to put your sons in harms way unloading them in the street and then pulling into the parking spot. I recommend all parents that do have to get a lift to get it in the back of your van, because of this issue, it is very upsetting to pull up to a van accessible spot and find a sports car parked where it plainly says VAN ACCESSIBLE!! I would recommend all parents on here to please NOT park in Van Accessible spots now that you know the issues and problems it can cause. Thank you........ The placard is only suppose to be used if your children are with you too, it is not meant for the parent it is meant for the person in the wheelchair. If my children are not with me,( I even have handicapped tags) I don't even use a handicapped spot, I hope all feel the same way on this one. I like Julie have reported people and have even had them towed.
Thank you, Julie Gilmore, for the olive branch to all of us Newbies. Even if the original comments weren't directed towards me, it was hard to discount the hostility. I know how valuable this site is to me. I check it multiple times a day. I need answers to my now questions and glimpses of the future to prepare myself. I appreciate all of those who contribute.
I ditto Danelle's sentiment. Nicely put.

As for the handicap spots. It's my position that it's the car only spaces for us or we don't use them. It it's Wal-Mart's there's always a cart about to use. I just flip up the front of it and my son crawls in and gets a ride to the door in that. We can always bring his scooter along as well if I think parking is going to be a problem. No need for the handicap space wirth that.
I've found that different states have different policies about the parking permits and parking spaces. In a rainstorm in Florida the officer wanted me to unload my 2 sons (1 in a manual chair and 1 in an electric), leave them in the rain and go park the van someplace else and walk back. Then repeat it when we were ready to leave. I was steaming! No way was I going to leave them alone in the rain. You can guess what I did. Luckily, no ticket when we got back to the van.

This is a real sensitive topic. I think we do the best we can as parents on a daily basis. I'd be surprised if the misuse or abuse of the parking permits was happening with this group. I'm knew to the group, but advocacy is our goal: I've read that in so many comments. We seem to lose it when it comes to parking places. We know why!


My frustration has been with people who don't HAVE a permit...or look like they're using the permit of someone else (I know there are hidden disabilities). I have to hold my sons back when we see cars parking across the cross hatches or parking carts in the cross hatches between the accessible spots; to me it seems more like someone in a hurry, but has no idea how it impacts someone who really needs the spot. My sons would rather "slash tires", leave rude notes on the cars or yell out the window! They don't yell or "slash"! We have waited to say how we really needed the 8' or whatever to get out of the van.
Laurie


Danelle Dickerson said:
Thank you, Julie Gilmore, for the olive branch to all of us Newbies. Even if the original comments weren't directed towards me, it was hard to discount the hostility. I know how valuable this site is to me. I check it multiple times a day. I need answers to my now questions and glimpses of the future to prepare myself. I appreciate all of those who contribute.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Need help using this community site? Visit Ning's Help Page.

Members

Events

© 2020   Created by PPMD.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service