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Policing of disabled parking spots - have you ever been questioned?

Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,404

Scope community team

In today's Metro is the story of Jessica Long, an American Paralympian in training, who was wrongly accused of illegitimately parking in a disabled space.  


The blue wheelchair disabled symbol painted on the floor

About the incident, Jessica who is a double amputee and was born with a condition called fibular hemimilia, explained:
"So, it just happened again. I was parking my car — and I hope she sees this — this woman just has the nerve to look me up and down disgusted that I parked in the handicapped spot. She just kind of rolled down her window and proceeded to be like, “You shouldn’t park there.” ‘I was just like, “Okay, I’m an amputee. I don’t have legs.  ‘That’s why I’m parked in the handicapped [space]. That’s why I have the handicapped pass”. And she kind of just drove off.’ 

Please note:  the use of the word handicap remains common-place in America and, although not representative of Social Model of disability terminology, is how Jessica self-identifies in this account.  

For more about Jessica's story, click on the link above and scroll down to watch her TikTok video.

Has this ever happened to you?

Unfortunately, Jessica's story is not uncommon and reflects a greater social practice of people with 'invisible impairments' being questioned and publicly policed as they are wrongly judged to have misused disabled provisions.  Thinking about this, I wondered:
  • Have you ever come across discriminatory attitudes when parking in a disabled spot or using other disabled provisions?
  • What do you think drives such stigmatised public views?
Let us know in the comments below.
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Replies

  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
    @Cher_Scope I think I mentioned this on another thread  that its awful how people judge you or think you shouldn't park in a disabled spot  I got blocked in one day becsuse  I was in a disabled spot  I was accused of haveing nothing wrong with me and havring a fake badge 

    To cut it short I told him I had lupus  he didn't want to know but  not long after the same thing hsppend again the same man was blocking me in  I thought I was in for  another telling off but I was shocked when he apologiesd   his wife had been diagnosed with lupus he said he knew he had heard that word before and rememberd  so when he saw my car he knew I was shopping  I thought it was realy nice 

    My own opinion not fact I think slotcof it is ignorance and lack if understanding  but I think its worse when you get a parking ticket when your clearly displaying your blue badge the two times its happend its been sorted out but shouldn't happen anyway 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    Too many disability bashing Daily Fail readers who hate all the disabled IMO.. And the British government are NO help.


  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,681 Disability Gamechanger
    I think some people just like to question others and come up with reasons why they shouldn’t do something, or take what is in their mind moral high ground but in reality is just making a fool of themselves. I can imagine the same happens with disabled toilets and exemption from wearing face masks etc. Maybe it’s also a jealousy thing as they see provisions for disabled people as some kind of privilege or special treatment and think “if I can’t have it neither should someone else”?

    I don’t use disabled spots or toilets or go without a mask or make use of any other provision but I do go shopping with a family member (my official carer) and we have been questioned a couple of times for not shopping alone. Most of the time the staff members are very understanding but a couple of times I have had a problem and have not been able to go into a shop.

    Back to car parking spaces the most stupid comment I have heard several times is that because a car is a certain make the driver cannot possibly be disabled.

    I think I have mentioned this previously but a colleague of a family member was made disabled in an accident and got a large insurance payout. He used some of this to purchase a Porsche SUV and used to get a lot of abuse for parking in disabled spots.

    Seemingly, having a nice car means you must be able bodied and disabled people have no right to have a nice car, or be successful, or something!! The person I refer to was ex police so used to getting abuse and used to think it was amusing getting his wheelchair out of the boot and then seeing the face of the people questioning him, but it could be upsetting for some people.
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
    @66Mustang I get it alot I think because I drive sports cars with soft tops  lol but thsts just my opinion 
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,681 Disability Gamechanger
    @66Mustang I get it alot I think because I drive sports cars with soft tops  lol but thsts just my opinion 
    I think in some peoples mind disabled people only drive a light green hatchback with disabled logos plastered all over it!!! Anything else and you can’t possibly be disabled!!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    I've had a RADAR key since around June 2009, it was dead easy to get one, simply went to the local Council Office, filled in a form, paid 3 quid and got one.


  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
    @66Mustang loved that comment  imagine that lol be alot of green hatchbacks  driving around with stickers lol you have made ny day 🤣 and cheered me up 
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,404

    Scope community team

    Ah some great insights there everyone, thank you :)

    I know I've certainly had 'the looks' when using disabled toilets.  In-fact, I'm that aware of looking superficially healthy that I prepare a script in my head to defend myself should anyone question me when I go in one. 

    As you astutely say @66Mustang people have preconceptions of how disabled people should look and act.  Even when it comes down to what cars are permissible for disabled people to drive *shakes head* I think we are becoming much better at questioning these stereotypes and calling them out when we see them, but as the article proves, there's a long way to go  :s
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    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    Ah some great insights there everyone, thank you :)

    I know I've certainly had 'the looks' when using disabled toilets.  In-fact, I'm that aware of looking superficially healthy that I prepare a script in my head to defend myself should anyone question me when I go in one. 

    As you astutely say @66Mustang people have preconceptions of how disabled people should look and act.  Even when it comes down to what cars are permissible for disabled people to drive *shakes head* I think we are becoming much better at questioning these stereotypes and calling them out when we see them, but as the article proves, there's a long way to go  :s
    Like I've been saying for years, it doesn't help that we currently have an anti-disabled government, look at all the needless deaths that have occurred when the DWP, at the behest of the Tories, declare people who clearly aren't, "fit to work" and then the client gets sanctioned!

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