All Walks of Life - STOP the violence to people with disabilities!

In Harm's Way - Unable to use Accessible Parking Spaces

Community Alert

We would like you to please consider mentioning the need for people who do not require the accessible parking spaces to consider those who do. After all, anyone can be the victim of an accident and one day it could be you who needs that space.

If you think it is difficult for you to get in and out of your vehicle when you have many Christmas packages, think what it might be like if you were in a wheelchair. That extra space needed to open a door fully is critical to individuals getting in and out with their wheelchairs. Consider that it takes up to four times as long to get in and out of a vehicle when using a wheelchair or walker compared to a person who does not use a wheelchair or walker. People with disabilities who use wheelchairs and walkers and are not able to access the parking spaces are put at high risk for violence.

These are the same concerns that face non disabled people during the shopping season, like the length of time the person is exposed to criminals while walking through the parking lot, and the amount of distraction involved in juggling packages and trying to get to keys and get everything put in the car, but they are even more difficult for people with disabilities.

We also need to better educate the disability community to help prevent violence. One idea is to encourage people with disabilities to ask a security person to escort them to their vehicle. Many individuals with disabilities may be reluctant to ask for assistance.

Please consider during this holiday shopping season to give the gift of not taking an accessible parking space. People with disabilities will thank you!

The above Community Alert was distributed to the local media during the Holiday shopping season of 1998 in Houston

Enforcement of the laws concerning the illegal use of these spaces remains a challenge. All Walks Of Life encourages law enforcement to consider that people who use these spaces illegally may tend toward violating other laws. Perhaps, then, an additional incentive exists for law enforcement. By checking these spaces, they might clear some pending cases that involve outstanding warrants.

This subject can have different twist's. The issues are:
  • What the laws are
  • How the laws are enforced
    • Different approaches to enforcement are employed
    • A program that enlists volunteers to assist in the enforcement effort is in place in Houston
  • The process of acquiring permission to use the spaces legally.
  • What is required to be placed on the permission.
  • How to show or display the permission.
  • How the spaces are designated and identified.
Check with your local government to discover the details in your area. Most major metro areas in the US have a Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. Most states have a Governor's Office for People with Disabilities.

People with disabilities who are unable to use the designated spaces are put in harm's way.
People with disabilities are encouraged to consider asking a security person to accompany them to their vehicle.
  • Checking these spaces for offenders may be an efficient method for law enforcement to deal with two enforcement problems at the same time.

Solutions - It's about awareness, education and prevention

These form the basis of our Solutions. Solutions that bred hope, coupled with determination to live life as independent from the fear of violence as anyone else!

Vulnerability is not a pleasant thought, No one should live in fear! Yet, for many people with disabilities, this is exactly the world in which they live. At home, in transit, at work, in care homes, in schools, the Vulnerability goes where they go.