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3 Tips to Handicap Parking
Brett Eastburn is many things -- an artist, an athlete, a husband, a comedian -- but one thing he is not is a quitter. Though born with no arms or legs, Brett tours the world speaking to millions of individuals with a message that everyone has unique gifts.
"I have been driving two accessible vehicles for the last 25 years. Personally, I have driven more than half a million miles. As a motivational speaker and comedian, I travel all over the country. But as many of you already know, parking can sometimes be interesting. Even though there may be van accessible parking spots in a given lot, I have found them to be ignored many, many times."
Pro Tip: Bring your own traffic cone
When using a handicap parking space, bring your own safety road cone. There are many styles available online that range in rigidity and design. When leaving your vehicle, it is beneficial to leave the cone in the striped spaces adjoining the space to keep other vehicles from parking next to you and blocking you out.
Pro Tip: Find an end parking spot
When looking for a space to park, consider parking further from the entrance, if possible so that you won't be parked in. Additionally, you could go to a corner and park at a diagonal and take up two parking spots. For big events like fairs, concerts, Fourth of July, etc., sometimes parking attendants or volunteers will instruct you to park too far forward. When pulling into parking, always be sure to ask where the best-handicap/disabled parking spots are for that business or event.
Pro Tip: If you are a power chair user, consider leaving up-close accessible spots for users of manual chairs.
Some power chairs can travel up to 11 miles an hour and for some owners, the front row is deemed unnecessary for this reason. The freedom to park in other rows could help everyone. Airports are a perfect example: every row offers striped parking.
"Unfortunately, there are people everywhere that will continue to abuse handicap parking. Hopefully, more education and users of the spots themselves will influence culture further and eradicate the problem of non-handicap users occupying the spaces."
Not only does parking in the spaces themselves cause problems, but parking in the striped zones traps chair users either inside their vehicle or outside. BraunAbility created the global Drive for Inclusion movement to build a more mobility-inclusive society that helps to uplift the voices of people with disabilities and their caregivers to influence community programs, product designs and local education efforts. In 2019, our focus was on protecting the striped spaces in parking lots. Learn more about the latest Drive for Inclusion news here.
We do our best at BraunAbility to provide automotive mobility to everyone. What we do helps our customers regain a sense of freedom and independence. But when others disrespect handicap parking spaces, that freedom is suddenly taken away. Learn how you can get involved.