I read with interest Tuesday’s editorial on the importance of using handicapped stalls properly. I am one of the students who uses the stalls properly but am often accused of being the other kind. I had an accident while working for BYU that leaves me limited in the activities in which I may participate. The cartilage in my ankle is deteriorating slowly, and I will eventually need a fusion or replacement. The surgeon who is working with me signs for me to get a handicapped tag for the winter months so I don’t need to walk long distances when my ankle locks up in the cold, and so that the cartilage doesn’t get more wear than needs be, enabling me to postpone my next surgery.
I agree that there is some misuse of handicapped stalls, but the real issue is why I am often accused of misusing the tag by passers-by. When I walk, I do my best not to limp, and on flat ground one would not notice my disability. People criticize me for not being handicapped enough. I am very considerate of those more handicapped than I am. When I see that only one handicapped stall is left, I make it a point to park elsewhere, even farther away, so that they may have the closer spot.
Still, there have been a number of occasions when people have yelled at me or demanded to see my handicap because they thought they were doing a good deed. I don’t mind a courteous policeman checking my paperwork, but anyone else is way out of line in confronting a handicapped stall parker or even accusing us in their mind.
See related story:
Opinion: Parking stalls for disabled should be respected 04/03/2000