Letters to the Editor

Dissing disabled people? Seriously? | Letters | Jan. 15

To the “able” young woman in the white Toyota van without a disability permit who pulled in a disabled parking space in front of Safeway Saturday morning around 10 a.m.: Seriously?

And then casually walking over to see the shoe sale, and flippantly answering, “Yes I do, thanks,” when asked if she realized she just parked in a disabled spot? Seriously?

I watched two cars with disabled permits drive by looking for a space while you were grabbing your two coffees and a pastry.

As I told this story to friends, the response was, “Oh yeah, it happens all the time. My son and I saw a woman do it in front of Rite Aid.” Another said, “Yeah, there are frequent letters to the editor about this”.

Guys, this is disturbing. Maybe you’re just not aware of how hard you are making it for other people. I can’t believe you simply don’t care.

I work with people with disabilities on a number of fronts and one of the things I keep hearing are the horror stories about people who really need those spaces struggling and frustrated that they can’t access them because other drivers think it’s OK to ignore the signs.

They talk about how hard it is to maneuver their wheelchair or their walker in spaces that aren’t set up for them.

Or being forced to walk further than they have capacity to because the disabled spots are full. Access is hard enough, why make it harder on people?

The fine for doing this is $250 and there is talk in Olympia and work by disability advocates to raise the fine for ignoring those signs to $450.

I’d like to think we would do the right thing without penalties, but that woman taught me that some people don’t make that choice.

It might help to remember that at some point in our lives, we will all have disabilities.

Don’t let your desire for convenience override your responsibility to do the right thing.

As to Ms. Toyota… seriously? Shame on you.

Susie Burdick

Bainbridge Island

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