Stop Assuming I’m Not Disabled Just Because I Don’t “Look Disabled”

Photo of an accessible parking space
Photo: Kara Grubis/Shutterstock

I park my car in a parking space reserved for those with disabilities. My door is barely open before I’m confronted by a woman who demands to see my handicap parking placard. Her mother is disabled, and she needs the space. I point her toward my tag with its blue drawing of a wheelchair then start walking to the doors of the pharmacy. She calls after me, telling me I could have borrowed the car I’m driving, that it’s probably not mine. Because I don’t look disabled.

Unfortunately, so much of our society is focused on appearance. You have to look the part, and if you don’t, then you can’t possibly be what you claim to be. If you’re overweight, there’s no way you can be a dancer. If you are heavily tattooed, you can’t be a lawyer. If you have disfiguring scars, you can’t be a model. While all of these myths have been debunked, there is one that hangs on with tenacity. If you don’t look disabled, you’re obviously not disabled.

Thousands upon thousands of us with invisible disabilities wish we didn’t have to park in handicapped spots. We wish we didn’t have to jump to the head of the line to board the plane first because we can’t be jostled. Our disabilities are not prizes we’ve earned that give us the right to better parking or more attention. We didn’t go to our doctors and beg for our disability status. Life, fate, whatever you want to call it made that decision, and, for the most part, we have accepted our challenges. But so much of this world doesn’t accept them because they’re not visible.

When you see a person walking without assistance, you may automatically assume that person is able-bodied. They’re not using a wheelchair, a scooter, or even a cane so what could possibly be wrong with them? Far too many people don’t realize there are thousands of illnesses and injuries that can limit a person’s ability to perform everyday functions that you might find simple.

Because of an injury, it’s difficult for me to bend to pick up something off the floor. I can’t stand for long periods of time nor can I climb stairs frequently. I don’t lift anything heavier than my purse, I don’t walk long distances, and I don’t sit in the same spot very long, either. But you can’t see my injury when you look at me nor can you see the pain that accompanies me everywhere I go. And because of that, I can’t possibly be disabled.

Perhaps most of us with invisible disabilities could perform them. We could wince every time we move, cry out in pain as we walk through a store, or huff and puff loudly so people will notice and appreciate that we are, in fact, disabled. But most of us just want to live our lives the best we can without having to prove anything. We don’t want to have to worry about whether or not some stranger thinks we’re gaming the system. We didn’t ask for “special treatment” that the law provides us, but sometimes, we have to take it, especially if it enables us to be a part of the world.

I don’t know of any disabled people who prefer front row parking to a life without pain. I know I would gladly trade in my handicapped tag if it meant I could have the life I had before my injury. But that’s not a choice I get to make. So I, along with hundreds of thousands of other individuals with illness and injuries you can’t see, will continue to park where we need to park, move to the front of the line, and accept assistance even if it means an able-bodied person has to wait. Not because we love taking advantage of accommodations, but because what you can’t see makes them necessary.

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Rachel Carrington is a writer with over fifty novels and 500 articles to her credit. She's active on Twitter and Instagram @rcarrington2004  and she can be found on the web at

343 responses to “Stop Assuming I’m Not Disabled Just Because I Don’t “Look Disabled”

  1. I have several friends with invisible disabilities but the most odd one I know is a friend of mine gets hives (most of you would go “so what”) but she gets them ON THE BOTTOM OF HER FEET! She just recently got her placard because she felt she would be judged if she did. She even carries a letter around from her doctor stating that she cannot use stairs or escalators. She will use stairs or an escalator if she has to (and believe you me its not a pleasant sight to see her after) but if an elevator is available, she has that letter in case the elevator is not a public elevator (office buildings, convention centres, etc). She can walk maybe for an hour a DAY tops before they develop and then she’s walking on those hives. Hotter days mean less time she can walk.

    Someone here said people are too lazy to walk (already replied on their comment so you’ll see who). Wonder how that person would like having what my friend has. That may make them think twice about making such stupid comments.

  2. We are turning on ourselves because these parking spaces are becoming a scarce commodity. With the aging of Baby Boomers, many more disabled spaces will be needed to keep up. We need to demand changes in the law from our legislators to require more spaces be made available.

  3. Right after my graduation from University I was working for a public consulting group. We was taking those who were over 35 and not projected to achieve independence from the state welfare program and farming these cases over to the federal SSI program. The name of the welfare program was entitled “families achieving independence in Montana”. These people commonly had to lose weight and stop smoking. Some claimed bad knees or depression. It didn’t really matter what ailments they claimed they were all shoo ins to the SSI program. The counties paid the public consulting group to relieve them of their financial burden. These ppl would probably not be deemed disabled then or now. I learned that the SSI program is a federal welfare system. Fast forward through 21 years of making a good living. I was a VISTA volunteer, student financial aid programmer, a substance abuse counselor, and human resource worker. I performed these jobs in the area I moved to away from where I was born and raised.
    I married, raised children, and had a full life during those years. In 2007 my wife died and I found myself between jobs and for some reason I decided to move back “home”. After a time, I found I could not be employed in the area. According to the program directors, my jobs application looked impressive but I needed 3 recommendations from the governing body or other influential people from that jurisdiction. I was away from this area a I didn’t know the local social leaders. These local jobs are awarded on a patronage system. I learned that those selected for employment were jobs trained at a local community college and family and friends were given jobs over who they felt were outsiders.
    It was about this time 2008 when there were all these TV commercials telling people to apply for disability. I spoke to a national advocate who shooed me into social security disability. It was during this time I took adverse possession of a 3 bedroom house and the 40 acres it sits on. I learned just a few years later this advocacy was working for the government as part of a plan to drive the high unemployment numbers down. He was not the “social justice warrior” he claimed himself to be. I’ve been collecting these past 11 years, joining the gig economy, and doing internet sales. I went down from the upper middle class I was born into, then functioned in the working class as an oil worker, then took some professional positions up until my move back “home”. My lifestyle is that of a welfare recipient. I now occupy the lowest rung of society. Nobody local knows of my education, training, and experience. It is totally irrelevant.
    I am living just like the bottom feeders.
    Theree is an open ended TANF program, an open ended food stamp program, a general assistance program, and a disproportionate number of SSI cases.
    The census figures report an over 50% unemployment (non-employment) number, and over 1000 in population for this particular jurisdiction. Such figures qualify for waivers and exemptions across the benefits programs. It would seem my background would be marketable but this is just not so. I see that the patronage system as such as my locale is a system of insiders and outsiders. These professional positions are awarded to friends and family without regard to anybody’s education. I learned folks dont even needs high school diploma to obtain a professional position here. The local system does jobs training and those so employed serve as a “go-between” from the government to the people. These folks are trained to do the governments bidding and they feel a cut above the rest of us. Ive hit bottom and I am living there now. I found myself begging for food stamps from them, answering and accounting for every last cent I reviewed to a welfare worker who collects welfare as the ubiquitous (to here) single mother, in government housing, and munching food stamps herself. Now I’m hearing where Donald Trump is aiming to cut me off all my welfare. I wished I never came back to this area and gotten mired down into this colonial style economy.

  4. I am a 40yr old disabled woman. I have Spina bifida, I was born with. I have had 15 operations to date. I live with terrible chronic pain. I get looks, comments, insults and have even had my brand new car vandalized with coffee on pretty much a weekly basis. It is so annoying how rude people are to me for no reason. I was thinking of having a sticker made for my car that says “I have spina bifida” with pictures of a couple of my scars to put on my window. Thankfully the state I live in puts your photo on the handicap placard so when some asshole tries to say I stole or borrowed mine I can show them the picture but I usually tell them “if it bothers you so much call the police” so far noone has. I also notice other disabled people with placards that are much older than me always act like because I’m young that somehow makes me less disabled than them and if there is only 1 handicap spot left and I get there first I should let them have it or if there are multiple spots I should give them the spot closest to the door instead of me taking the closest 1. Wtf is thier logic?? Apparently age can really make or break your disability 🤣. I wish my age made me immune to being disabled, maybe I wouldn’t have spent so much of my childhood in a wheelchair or hospital bed in my parents livingroom. I am no longer confined to a chair or bed thankfully.

  5. I once got a note on my car “You park like an asshole, you have legs that work”, even though I have a handicap permit… Very painful to read/be judged like that…

  6. I have young onset Parkinson’s disease. Often, to the outside, I look fine because meds keep things well-controlled. What people do NOT see is the unpredictability of massive fatigue that comes on without warning, muscle pain, and difficulty walking on ice. I try not to use the tag when I am out and about because I fear getting into a confrontation with a well-meaning (but ill-informed) “advocate for the handicapped.” If I could have my old life back, ( pre-diagnosis) I would gladly turn in my tags, but as things are right now, that tag can be a life -saver.

    1. Absolutely and totally with you on this! I’ve had M.S. for the past twelve years, and my fatigue frequently makes it that I may well be able to start off reasonably well (although sometimes I can’t get out at all) but within a very short time I can really be struggling and need to use a shopping trolley to keep me upright and balanced as without I can look as though I’m drunk. But oh my goodness, if I’d got a £ for every time someone tells me that I am ‘looking well’, therefore in their opinion I am, then I’d be rich enough not to need to worry too much about claiming my benefits

  7. Thank you. I was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “WOW, you don’t look sick (or disabled)”, I’d never have to worry about money.

    1. Thank you for mentioning that Greg, I have had Epilepsy for 14 years and looked down and get upset with people parking in handicap places even though they can walk fine. I had brain surgery one year ago and neuro connections from the right side of my brain to the left side of my body is not communing properly, every left foot step takes thought and focus, and the sense of burning and pain on the left side of my body from a light touch, I NOW USE THE PARKING SPACE not all the time, but I use it ALLOT, it’s too painful to hold a steering wheel and turn to drive so I get driven anywhere go, THANK YOU FOR MENTIONING MENTAL Disabilities

  8. Thank you for this article. We often judge people that parks in handicapped parking who looks able-body from their outward appearance. I’m disabled. My disability is invisible. I do not have a placard or license tag. My doctor prefers that I walk to strengthen my heart muscle. Walking is also a remedy that offsets my nerve pain from neuropathy. I have friends and family who uses other people placard to park in handicapped spaces. I’m sharing this article with them in hopes that it will deters them from continuing this bad habit of taking from others.

  9. Sad part is, there are never enough Disabled parking spaces as there’s a minimum required by law but the number of disabled are ever increasing. Also, the number of electric carts stay the same but are either in use or the battery has been drained & store management usually doesn’t check to see if the worker bees remember to plug one back in after use & retrieval. My last two times to the grocery store, I’ve had to circle several times just for a handicapped parking space & once inside; have had to wait for a cart to get a sufficient charge.

  10. NDIS killed over 1200 people in delays due to lack of funding and knowledge, disability advocacy funding cut the previous year and now a religion discrimination bill that will further impact is.
    So I am creating a new religions movement to create an accessible and inclusive society to uplift people with disabilities. To give us strength to handle society that is constantly failing us, to have a voice that will impact the culture of this country.

    I call it the Church of Diffability.

    So to go with my religion I am creating prays/mantras. Here is the invisible disability pray.

    Invisible disability pray (Work in progress)

    My Divine self, give me strength,
    For my uniqueness is invisible to the un-trained stranger,
    But I will be firm and request what I need,
    Be it, priority, help or a seat,
    Should the ablest use their judgmental tones,
    I with response and not accepts their grown.
    I will endure with my resilient mind,
    For my journey is long and
    My plight is out of sight.

    So it shall be.

    Feel free to give me feedback.

    1. I love your poem! I would change “Be it, priority, help or a seat,
      Should the ablest use their judgmental tones,
      I with response and not accepts their grown”. To: “Be it priority, help, or a seat,
      Should the ablest use their judgmental tones,
      I will respond and not accept their groans”. ❤

    2. I over see the disability parking program here in Hawaii. The fact that the accessible spaces serve two functions is part of the problem. Some people need the proximity to the entrance. Some need the access aisle to deploy a side mounted lift or ramp. Those people can only use an accessible space unlike the proximity group. So while government debates if the access aisle people need to be given priority, I would encourage parking permit holders to do what they can. Only park in the van accessible space (wider access aisle) if no other accessible spaces or close non accessible spaces are open.

    3. I completely understand. I worked at a hospital and one of the mail nurses parked in handicap parking every night he worked. Used to brag because we had to work across a bigger lot to get in. Winter was terrible cold. The problem that I had was his son was handicapped. His son wasn’t with him, so to me he shouldn’t be able to park there just because he had the tags.

      1. It is against the law for him to park there if his son is NOT with him. He is part of the problem. Parking in the access aisle is also a problem and against the law

    1. Heaven forbid, but lets hear you say that if something happens to you and you CANT walk very far and you HAVE to RELY on your handicap placard. Better yet, you don’t get one for years because they don’t give them out like candy. On the meantime, you struggle to get into the store gasping for breath, electrical pain shooting down your back across your hips. You stumble onto the bench (aren’t you lucky, it’s open) from lack of oxygen or Is it because your legs just gave out? Who cares… got to find the inhaler NOW before you pass out.

    2. Read the article again. Not every disability is visible. Just because a person can walk okay doesn’t mean they’re fully able bodied. No need for such a crappy, judgmental attitude when you don’t know every individual that uses a placard.

    3. Lynn Walters, how Dare you say such a thing!! EVERYONE HERE has Some kind of disability! Don’t comment so Disrespectfully to those you Refuse to believe or understand! People like YOU are the very problem this was put out for! Take your hatred at Shove it Cow!! We the Disabled don’t need YOUR UGLY HATE??

      1. Don’t feed the troll. He/She (Lynn can be either) obviously has never had arthritis or any other thing that can come and go making it sometime impossible. Probably some young person who throws chairs off of balconies onto roadways below and thinks its fun.

  11. One of the problems people cause is using their husband or wives handicap stickers.they do it all the time. My mother had one a person asked me why I didn’t use it. I told them it was not mine. Where I work they had to start checking people if the sticker was in their name. Because there were not enough spots for people that needed them. People use them when they are not theirs.

    1. So that justifies the abuse people receive from some snooping busybody? If you don’t know the person, it is NOT your right to question if they are actually disabled.

      1. When I see someone run into the store almost full sprint and come out smoking a cigarette and hop into car and speed away . Or I see a lady use the spot because she has small children with her and she doesn’t want to watch them while walking then I see a 90 year old lady struggling to help her husband walk with a walker from the other side of the parking lot then YES it is absolutely my right to question how they got a handicapped tag

        1. I’m disabled and a mama. I get serious anxiety getting my kids in from a parking lot safely as I can’t move quickly. Don’t assume it’s obnoxious and helps no one.

    2. Disability placards in my state have a photo of the person on them. We aren’t lazy or borrowing someone else’s. My teen may be able to walk through the grocery store, but not then across the lot, so we use it on hard days. It’s her placard. She uses it when needed without the need to explain herself away. The one person who asked is probably still recovering from mama bear.

  12. I was diagnosed with one type of arthritis six years ago. Once my immune system was compromised I was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases as well as another form of arthritis at age 40. I look fine from an outward appearance but inward I hurt from head to toe.

  13. Your article says it perfectly. I am an Aussie who has a disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension that affects any age. This affects my heart and lungs and has no cure, eventually it will be terminal, but there are expensive treatments that I take to help control it. We suffer this abuse all the time because most of us don’t show visible signs of the disease and we get exactly the same treatment from certain members of the public that you get. The younger generation with this illness have it tougher I think as everyone says they can’t be disable, they are too young. We have heard some terrible abusive comments aimed at our younger patients even when their parents are with them.
    I am one of the lucky ones because when I get out of my car it is obvious that I have a disability because I require oxygen but believe me until I get my bottle and trolley out of the car they still throw the abuse and point the finger. None of us want to be disable, we just are, and we would give anything to be able to function normally but it is what it is and ignorant, uncaring individuals are just another pain in or sides.

    1. I have a disease that sounds very similar, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, or POTS. My heart rate can drop unexpectedly, especially when standing or sitting up which can cause me to black out. Almost every day I hear how great I look, the old “but you don’t look sick.” I also have many other autoimmune diseases, some of which cause pain, too. I get the evil-eye looks because I use my handicap placard when parking. So far I haven’t been confronted yet, but I’m waiting for it.

  14. Thank you for your article. I wish more people would read it. I am an Army Vet, however the Military is not where I was injured, (other than PTSD maybe). After I got out, I was a firefighter for 12 years, an EMT the last 3 of those, working on my Paramedic License, and spent 6 years as State Trooper. I had an injury to my left thigh at 12 years old, that required over 250 stitches and staples, and neoprene where the femur got notched out. Then, as a Trooper, I was in a foot chase in an unfamiliar wooded area, and my leg went into a hole. I completely tore my ACL on my right leg. The Ortho removed part of my patellar tendon to replace the torn ligament, and it’s held in with screws. 5 months later, I had to go back for a second surgery to remove most of the meniscus cartilage on the inside of that same knee. The pain comes and goes. I have good days and bad days. Occasionally, while walking, my right knee will just buckle, and if I have nothing to grab on to, I’ll go down. So yes, I am partially, permanently disabled. When I am having a good day, I’ll park in a regular spot and walk the best I can, but sometimes when I’m hurting, I may use handicap space, and yes, I have a permit. I know there are many out there who have lost legs altogether, and I am very fortunate I still have mine, but sometimes they simply don’t work right.

    (Incidentally, I haven’t even mentioned about being shot, stabbed or having a ball bat busted over my head). So, I may not look disabled to anyone, and I do have some use of my body, but I would give anything to have the life free of pain and all my functionality that I had before.

    So, just because I may not look disabled, doesn’t mean that I am not.

    1. BOBBIE S.
      When I was 14 I was in a moped wreck, in which my right leg hit the bumper of a car which made my shin bend backwards like a banana causing a compound fracture and shattered my shin bone plus a compound in my thigh. I had 7 breaks and 7 surgeries a cast for over a year and 3 1/2 months in the hospital. I was lucky not to have lost my leg. They took a bone out of my hip to place in my shin. Oh and I fractured my left knee also. Then 15 years ago I was diagnosed with Ovarian and Uterine cancer I had chemo for 18 months and they didn’t know one of the side effects was neuropathy , so now I have severe neuropathy in both feet and hands. I was the first person to use the chemo Taxel. So if I have long pants on you can’t see all the scars or the big indention in my shin. So please don’t judge people.

      1. Placards are not assigned to vehicles. Handicapped tags are assigned to cars. Placards are assigned to people in case they need to be in a different vehicle.

  15. I’m a disable veteran and single. I don’t plan to stay in long. Get what I wanted and leave. I seen people use someone else placards. Leave the disable person in the vehicle. It’s to match the vehicle’s registration. One lady said to use my placard for all my vehicles. That placard is for one vehicle the original vehicle only. Sometimes people mind your own business .

      1. What if the disabled person does not have a driver’s license? A child may have the disability and the person driving them may need to park there for the disabled person.

    1. In Texas they put your drivers license # on the placard so I can be in any vehicle, which comes in handy when I travel and use a rental car.

        1. If you are so sure they are using someone else handicapped tag, it is your responsibility to report that person, then the tag will be removed from the person who “loaned” it out. Most people are willing to gossip and make snide remarks to those of us who may not show our disabilities, but unwilling to actually do something productive. So I challenge you to stop assuming the person is not handicapped and report the misuse. I can tell you, my grandmother used to use my grandfather’s tag before and after he passed away. I was to young to do anything about it, but know I do something. Like when I needed the handicapped spot and the young teenager driver had the car idling, I POLITELY asked him if he was disabled and he told me no, he was waiting for his girlfriend. i explained to him the spot was for disabled people and I needed the spot because I was having a very bad pain day. I think because I was polite to him and did not yell and scream at him, he was not only polite and moved, but he was also embarrassed and I doubt he ever used a handicapped spot again.

    2. Sorry but I see lots of people everyday parking in disabled and walking without difficulty. And yes they can and do borrow a disabled badge.
      Laziness I call it

      1. I apparently come into that category. I often use taxi”s on the few occasions I leave the house. On those occasions, I will be seen to walk ‘without difficulty’ into a shop or wherever.
        Thing is, not all disabilities affect the person”s ability to walk, easily or otherwise. Some conditions can affect you differently on a daily basis. For instance, I sometimes use a walking stick to help with my balance, and the severe, constant pain in my knees, ankles, hips and shin’s. However, there are many times when my hands and arms are affected, meaning I can’t hold the stick, let alone put weight on it. Other times, being the stubborn moo that I am, I’ll push myself to manage without it. (I always pay dearly for that afterwards)

        I was also awarded my disabled parking badge because I have a severe mental health condition which is triggered when I become extremely stressed, anxious, afraid or overwhelmed. It can cause my behaviour to change; make me shut down, or have me do things that could be very unsafe for Me. I’m in the UK, and the badge is tied to me, so that if a friend/carer/family member goes out with me, we can park on places that make a quick, safe exit far more possible.

        You may see people get out of their car and walk ‘without difficulty’ But what”s more likely is that you see someone get out of that car and make the most of a ‘good’ pain day. Or make an effort to have one outing where they can feel that their condition isn’t in charge. Or, maybe their disability is nothing to do with mobility. You’re not ‘seeing laziness’ – you’re assuming it based on a common prejudice: that all genuinely disabled peopLe use wheelchairs, or walkers, or crutches, or sticks.. We don’t. Some of us have other issues: and we don’t appreciate being judged: not by anyone, least of all someonelse who sees us once, and leaps to an uninformed conclusion

      2. So you know for a fact they are walking with out difficulty??? How? Your a mind reader? You can just tell by somebody walking their not in pain? Your too bright. Mind your business…

      3. Wow helen u really are an ignorant person to think ppl with disabilities that are not viable to u that they are lazy!!! U dont no what ails a person. U dont no the struggles going on inside of someone. There are days where I walk ok amd there are days I cant maybe take your head outta ya ass and look at the bigger picture

  16. Came across this by accident and am horrified by what I’m reading. I have numerous auto immune diseases plus a list of other conditions I would prefer not to comment on here, but which make it very difficult getting about, but am always aware of ‘how people see me’ as I know to look at me, one would never guess the pain & difficulty I am in. For this reason, I never use the ‘disabled’ toilets unless there is nobody about, but have a real struggle with getting up off an ordinary one. I don’t have a ‘disabled ‘ parking badge & wont apply for one till it just becomes just absolutely impossible not to. I have to have airport assistance as no way can I climb stairs, and have had numerous falls which cause a lot of trouble to others (ambulance people as well). So I do my best not to be a nuisance to others. I will be 80 in a couple of months’ time & cant help wondering how I will be treated by those who see me as quite able to do what other younger & healthier people are able to do once I do have to get a disabled badge. Will I just give up and stay home in order not to upset people who get so angry without knowing the real facts? 20 years ago, I was a carer to a gentleman who was disabled, and he had a disabled badge on the windshield of the car I drove him in. Can recall the difficulties we had when a parking Bay was not available, but we just waited patiently until there was one. Really feel for the people who are taken to task like this so unfairly. Can there please be more kindness than anger?

  17. I am SO over words like “disabled” and “handy-abled”! I am HANDICAPPED! That means there are still things I can do on my own. I am NOT disabled; if I were, I wouldn’t be able to do ANYTHING!!! I want people to STOP assigning labels to me that I don’t get a say about! Either talk about me the way I want or STFU!!!

    1. Mr. Owens, I applaud your persistence to remain unlabeled. However, the truth is, whether the person is handicapped, disabled, and or enabled – it does not give any person the right to demean another person because of his or her appearance. I do not appear disabled. I look healthy and plump. Not so! I have been judged at least three times in my life by another disabled individual, and two other people that assumed I did not have a handicapped placard. In actuality, I do not have to explain anything to anyone. I am learning to love who I am, and change what I can change!

  18. As someone who is disabled, I had to hire an Attorney & appear before a Federal Judge & the head of Worker’s Compensation in order for me to get my Disability. I too was told I don’t look handicapped. I had to get checked by an idiot Dr who felt that there was no reason for me not to be able to carry a full gas container back to my car should I ever need to run out of gas. I told him I never run out of gas. He called me a liar. I said my car is equipped with a warning light to let me know when I’m running low. I pay attention to my gauges & keep my car topped off. I never carry anything heavy or walk any great distance. He marked my evaluation of the test that I was fine. An MRI showed several things wrong with my Spine. I’m severely allergic to prescription pain meds & can only take over the counter. My throat swells shut. I walk with a cane because I walk like a drunk. My balance is off. I’m in pain 24/7. People assume others are abusing the system but, they don’t know all of the facts. If they turn someone in, they can destroy that person’s livelihood. You don’t make a fortune collecting Disability. What angers me most is Republicans who call Disability the new Welfare because they are insane. As I said it took me 5 times to get Disability. This is a Benefit we pay into. It’s not free. Just like Social Security isn’t free. It’s paid through our Paychecks & it’s known as FICA. It’s taxed then & taxed when you collect it. What it comes down to, is simple. People need to mind their own business. You can’t see internal damage. You can’t see a person’s heart attack. You can’t see so many other ailments. Instead of causing trouble for people you just have to mind you own business & assume they’ve gone through the proper channels to get approved for Disability. Once someone is kicked off, it’s difficult to get back on it. Remember you are not a licensed medical professional. You don’t see the medications I take or anyone else. You can’t see what operations someone has had. I’ve seen ignorant people who aren’t handicapped park in those spots because of rain, snow or high winds. They’re the ignorant people to go after. Leave the people with the placards & special license plates alone. It’s that simple. Just mind your own business. I’ll ignore people that get in my face or if they get nasty then I will too. Luckily, I’m Ok.

    1. Jim, I had to hire a disability attorney as well! It was worth it, but it took forever! My sentiments exactly – people need to ask some questions in a polite manner, and or mind his or her own business.

  19. Well what gets me are the looks I get and I look exactly like I need the placard. I walk with a cane and because after my spinal neck fusion I couldn’t walk a few 100 feet without extreme pain in my lower back, I gained weight. Being suddenly inactive after so many years of working hard and not to mention severely depressed from being unable to do the things I use to I blew up. So being diagnosed with all the things my mom had degenerative disc disorder, fibromyalgia, no cartilage in either knee, bulging disc at 46 years old was a total bummer. Then I had to take the cart in the grocery and the looks I got. I knew they assumed I was like this because I was fat but little did they know I got big because I was suddenly like this. I heard so many you got big statements until I could scream. I eventually started to lose the weight but I still got the looks. I guess I’m too young to be unable to walk more than a few steps without stopping with a cane. Oh I must be faking it I’m too young! It bothers the heck out of me because they don’t know my pain. It bothers me most though because it bothers me if you get that statement. I wanna shop with my daughters again, or go on vacation and not have to stay in the hotel, or dance again without worrying about falling. I fell so much when this all started I’m afraid to go out without my cane now. My mom had to be on disability in her late 40’s too and I know how she felt. It’s hereditary but I pray none of my kids ever have to go through it. I pray one day you won’t bother me as much as my disability does. Oh and by the way they need those motor carts in the malls and shopping centers. I’d love to go more than just to the grocery again!

  20. Thank you for the well written article. I’m 2003 I was in a horrific MVA and I have to deal with injuries for the rest of my life. I try not to let them stop me, but sometimes it gets the better of me. I don’t look disabled, inner injuries people cannot see & the constrain pain most don’t see. But I take each day as a blessing and try never to let it get in my way. Thankful to be alive.

  21. Thanks for this article! I’ve been disabled for the last decade. I have multiple health problems. Two of them are neurological issues that make it progressively more difficult for me to walk. I need a wheelchair now, but can still get in and out of a car. It’s a struggle, but I can manage it on a good day. With the use of a cane, I can take a few steps, but more than that and my legs just collapse. Sitting up is painful and I need to change positions often. I’ve had people tell me that if I can get out of my chair or if I move my feet, I’m not really disabled. They seem to think only paralyzed people use wheelchairs.

    I also have a totally inactive thyroid, even though I’m on medication for it. Before I was disabled, I always kept my weight under control by strictly watching my diet and lots of exercise. As my illness progressed and I couldn’t exercise, I started gaining weight. I slashed my calorie intake to dangerous levels, but continued to gain. I’m fat now and self-conscious about it, but I’ve learned there’s much bigger problems in life. I rarely leave the house, but when I have to go out I have someone who pushes my chair for me or goes into stores to bring me an electric scooter. I can’t tell you how many times people have said to my face or commented as I pass them that I’m just riding the scooter because I’m fat and too lazy to walk. They even tell me that I wouldn’t need to use the scooter if I stop living off fast food and other junk food. I’ve found out that so many people think it’s okay to be mean to or laugh at fat people. I just can’t imagine what’s going through a person’s head that they think it’s their right to walk up to a stranger and verbally attack them. When they question my right to use handicap spaces or mobility equipment, I just tell them that I have nothing to prove to anyone. It’s none of their business what my medical problems are.

  22. I would give anything in the world to be able to walk farther distances without wheezing and coughing. I was born with asthma and now have copd. I use 3 inhalers a day and a rescue inhaler. I now, also, have rods & screws in my back and have chronic pain daily. My back also hinders my walking longer distances, sitting and standing. I am 52 years old and loom perfectly normal. I get dirty looks all the time. Ive been honked at, yelled at, cussed at… you name it. People don’t understand that disabilities can be invisible and affect all ages. What is more sad is some of the attackers are disabled themselves!

  23. Totally agree.
    When there are regular parking places next to the disabled ones, and there is enough room to get in/out — take one of those so someone else can grab the blue-spot.
    Do a favor for someone else when possible.
    And don’t just park there while your friend/family run in to get something — I see that a lot. If you need the space — great, but if you’re not getting out of the vehicle it can be anywhere.
    I had to take care of someone who was disabled, not invisible, and saw all kinds of crap go on.
    And… lastly… for the people who get injured, get the placard, then recover and are fine but still use the blue-spots — there’s special parking space in hell awaiting.
    (thinking of someone I see at the gym — always in the blue spot but has no issue being on the treadmill, running laps in the gym, lifting weights, etc. — no longer disabled but abusing the placard)

    1. I have a long list of diseases that include severe dehydration and low potassium that have landed me on the this list. I run iv fluids daily. In the summer I rarely am out in the day unless it is early morning or late in the evening. The sun drains my energy and what little fluids I have in my body. I do not sweat so my body does not cool itself off. Walking far distances can be a challenge as my resting heart rate alone is st 120 or higher. On good days I will park away if it’s not too far and I don’t have to be in a store for very long. On a bad day, I am searching for the closest parking space I can find. I also have high blood pressure, and sometimes it can not be managed by po medication alone. Days like, I definitely searching for the closet handicap or parking spot bc I more than likely as the pharmacy, doctor office or hospital. And, I have had someone call the police on me. And I have had my tags ran. I have pulled the neck of my shirt down to show my accessed port to tell them not judge what you can not see. I am in the hospital more than most change their beds!

    2. My husband and I are both disabled. We both have gym memberships by the way. A previous boyfriend was disabled and a gym rat, he was in a wheelchair.

      My point is too many people place disabled people in boxes. You would see my husband and I use a handicap spot at a gym and think we were parking spot abusers. You would see my ex due to his being wheelchair-bound and think nothing of it. All 3 of us are disabled.

  24. The only thing that bothers me is when the driver is waiting for someone and taking the spot. I always park way away when I do not go in and pick up whomever I took to the store rather than sitting in the spot for and hour or two taking it up. About the only thing I can do that causes the least amount of pain is drive. I have AS cervical, lumbar and all big joints, half that have been replaced. So I too know the suffering of constant severe pain even with an intrathecal pump for 15 plus years. Patience is difficult when you are having a bad day. All one can do is pray for patience and continue on….the best we can do.

    1. Nancy
      … when the Handicapped person stays in the car the car is considered illegally parked and the cops should be called to issue a ticket!
      … Not all spouses illegally use the placard bc not only does my husband not use mine quite often he’ll go to park at the end of the lot out of habit even when I’m in the car!! And if we are stopping at a convenience store he will ask me if I’m going in BF he parks bc if I say no he parks in a regular spot!
      …Yes there are people who abuse it and use other people’s placard, and those people should be reported… however it’s far more likely that the person has an invisible problem!! My disease is a delicate balance of rest, activity and meds which when maintained makes me “look normal” but still not pain free… however once that balance is thrown off I’ll get put into huge extremely pain flare up that could cause me to be bedridden for days / weeks!! If there is an activity I really want to do, I need to rest up more for days bf and for days after only to hope to not throw off that delicate balance!!
      So if me using handicapped parking enables me to conserve energy or provides additional extra “rest” so that later that day I’m able to spend time with my child(ren) or cook dinner for my family or do some of the volunteer work I do or even just have a bit of fun activity then so be it!! Being disabled / handicapped etc doesn’t mean you are not also entitled to live and have quality of life!!!

  25. I would gladly give my placard up if it meant I could live my life like I once did, yet fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, chronic migraines and chronic fatigue as well as herniated discs and fused discs as well as severe osteoarthritis in my spine and hips won’t let me. I can’t walk long, stand or bend well and I cannot for one moment of my 24 hr day go without debilitating pain. Now if you can get rid of all my issues I would gladly throw my placard out, I am not eligible for disability from government due to my husbands work which barely covers our monthly bills, yet I would give it all up for a life without pain or the looks I get every time I park in a disabled spot, well people who don’t like it can go suck a rotten egg cause I’d do anything to live again.

    1. I have no balance and little use of my legs. When I see a person get out of a car and start walking with no aid, and walk like a normal person, I think why does that person need that parking place while I have to park a greater distance in the parking lot, and risk a fall.

      1. Yes one of those gym rats who uses a handicapped placard to go spend an hour on a stair climber and lift weights for an hour. That same person who hates fat people (called me fat and lazy and I am 100 lbs on a really good day) is a chronic pain patient advocate and calls people who need pain meds to get out of hed drug addicts.
        I am disabled, spent 6 months in a wheelchair and after she told me she was unloading 1000 lbs of mulch I lost it. She is and always will be a fraud. As I warned her, she had lots of haters because she was a fraud she lost her SSDI. Of course, she assumes it was me that called. It was NOT. I call people out ONLY when I am 1000 percent positive they are frauds. My payback was a SSDI review (have been on do not review status for 15 years…..technical term is MINE). It was a mere inconvenience of filling out a piece of paper which is fine. Unfortunately, I am still disabled.

        With that said at 34 I owned a home that I had a huge oversized 4 car garage under my home BUT my suburban could not be driven into the garage due to the angle so the city came out and after I paid my 100.00 they placed a reserved street sign in front of my home. This angered my neighbors who believed I was faking. The sign was stolen numerous times and people put signs up that the sign was a fake. The 300.00 tickets were most definately real. My issue was the city forcing me to pay for the sign yearly. That is an ADA violation. The last person who pulled up yelling at me that I was a fraud I whipped around and lifted my shirt to show her the wires that were currently coming out of my back and my teenage kids politely educated her. She said “I am sorry” and I said never assume u have a good day’. I MOVED.

        1. If a person says they cant get benefits because their spouse makes a good living in the US they are referring to SSI. It is a benefit which is deeming i.e need based and a waste of time and resources to keep applying. If a person has their own SSA record and credits then yes fight it. Otherwise, its fruitless like applying for blind pension worth 20/20 vision.

    2. Respectfully Ma’m you really should look in to applying for disability again. My husband makes a good living and I was able to receive disability. Keep trying until you get it. A lot of people, like me are denied the first time and I’m not sure of your age but if you are 55 or over you also have a better chance. It wouldn’t hurt to try again, especially since you say your husband’s check barely gets you by. Best wishes and a God bless.

      1. Concur…and use a lawyer, they disapprove 90% on first try, 80%on appeal, and approve most at the fI also stage of in-person review board. SSDI specific Lawyers know what language to use and know the tiniest of rules to help you get approved. You don’t pay unless you win (they do take a portion of your first payment, but, it’s definitely worth it).

      2. Concur…and use a lawyer. they disapprove 90% on first try, 80%on appeal, and approve most at the final stage of in-person review board. SSDI specific Lawyers know what language to use and know the tiniest of rules to help you get approved. You don’t pay unless you win (they do take a portion of your first payment, but, it’s definitely worth it).

  26. All my life I used to be one of those types who used the phrase,”Out of sight out of mind.” But until April of 2018, I thought I the weight I lost was going to be a blessing until I found myself passed out on my kitchen floor. I found out I had conditions of the same thing: Vaselvagel Syncope,Orthostatic Hypotension,and low heart rate/Bradycardia. I have passed out several times. They implanted a loop recorder.

    It really hurts that people roll their eyes at me when I’m not in my local area and need the motor shopping cart. I know what y’all go through as my fiancee is in a wheelchair and I feel I might end up in one as well. That could be my reality and I’m not debating it.

  27. I get the same thing from people that see me I maybe having a good day but I have arthritis in both of my knee’s and both of my feet. Good days are great but then I have a bad day please let someone say something to me and they will probably get more than they figured they would or should have gotten. As I always say do not judge a book by its cover because you don’t know what is on the inside.

  28. I have a brain disorder that is slowly taking away all my motor functions. And fibromyalgia. Walking the use of my hands. But to look at me while sitting you can’t tell until I try to stand or walk or grasp something. I get tired easily and if I need to use a motor cart I look like I’m fine so I have had numerous very ugly things said to me. Once from a Walmart employee. Telling me a had to walk to my car in the rain instead of riding a cart. I can’t walk without assistance from my family or a walker.

  29. A part of the problem is the pictogram showing a physically handicapped person in a wheelchair and so it guides people to think you have to be in a wheelchair or be limping or on crutches or something. I think the pictogram should be changed or altered and also show a person with a heart in his body or some kind of symbol in the persons head or something to indicate non visible disabilities.

  30. I have fibromyalgia, RA, spinal stenosis, neck has had surgery due to severe bulging disk, angina, spondylitilosis, degenerative disk disease, & IBS. I have had severe to moderate pain for 18yrs. I would give all this up and throw away my placard and give up my disability check in a heart beat if I could get my life back. There is no cure for fibromyalgia and there is not scientists looking for one. Most drs wont acknowledge the disease. It takes a year for some to get diagnosed. some drs say you need psychiatrist. Its terrible.

    1. I cured mine through diet. Find a functional medicine Dr. It’s a miracle. I had all that you state… maybe more. It’s just not an issue, although there is some pain. It’s not even close to what it was.

    2. A rheumatologist is who you need to see for a proper diagnosis of fibromyalgia, but call around first and find one who does believe in fibro. It took me over 3 years to get a proper diagnosis of fibro, but even my chiropractor could tell that I had the disease. And yes, it has been upgraded to an actual disease. I have fibro, and so do at least 3 of my sisters. Also, great book on the subject – Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Disorder: A Survival Manual, by Dr. Devin Starlanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland. You can find it on ebay, or at a bookstore.

  31. I calmly allow my middle finger handle communications. Might as well send assholes into full road rage and/or a disabling stroke hopefully. Better than this veteran having a major PTSD relapse.

    1. I always tell them “ well, looks can be deceiving , for example you LOOKED INTELLIGENT before you opened your mouth. Usually that just leaves them there with their mouth agape searching for a response that will forever elude them.

  32. I am one of the invisible handicapped individuals. I have a sever bad back, with a pain pump surgically in-planted inside my back that constantly sends a steady flow of medication directly to my spine. I also have two bad knees, my right one I need to wear a knee brace at all times because my knee gives out without warning and down I go. I just found out today I have something pressing on one of the upper disks in my upper spine near my neck, it is causing a lot of pain and my Doctor has ordered 6 weeks of physical therapy. If the physical therapy does not work, then I will need surgery to fuse a piece of bone in the place where the pressure is being done. It will cause a limit on my mobility in my neck area. So please just because I am not in a wheel chair, using a walker, or walking with a cane……..I am having trouble walking, I need help stepping up or down curbs. So yes I have earned my right to boldly hang my blue flag from my rear view window.

  33. When I hear that crap and someone says that I don’t look handicapped, I respond by saying , ” You don’t look like you’re stupid “

    1. You said a mouthful and I Totally agree with you..Just because I Don’t look like it You have issues..Go mind your business is what I normally tell them

  34. I have gotten several rude comments I even had a lady follow me all over the grocery store because I parked in a handicap parking spot. I have had 30-plus major surgeries for endometriosis and adhesions. My insides feel like skin tearing everyday of the week. I got my plaque at a very young age and the looks I get from people and the comments I get from people are just unreal. I would gladly trade in my plaque to have my body back.

  35. I am temporarily disabled due to a condition called exercise-induced rhabdomyolosis. My leg muscles necrosed, and I spent 6 days in the hospital and was the lucky recipient of 30 liters of fluid while there.

    I still fatigue very easily; but at the beginning of a task, I am ok. I know people cannot believe I need a disabled parking spot, but I am exhausted after the (seemingly) simple task of grocery shopping! Pushing a full cart wears me out.

    I am dreading the day someone challenges me.

    My husband has MS and is also someone who looks healthy. He’s like me: ok at first, but not so much at the end.

  36. I truly empathize with everyone here, but I do acknowledge there are those abusing the system. I recently broke my left leg, so I could still drive myself when necessary. I pulled into a handicapped space at Walmart and a very tall athletic man pulled in the handicapped space beside me. Although I’m on an air cast, I’m still supposed to use a cane or crutches for balance and stay off of the leg as much as possible. I struggle to get my big foot in a cast out with my cane and start into the store, when he jogs past me in the parking lot. I’m expecting to use one of the electronic wheel chairs with a basket to get my groceries. As I walk through the automatic doors, he drives off in the last remaining wheel chair. Now if he could run past me in the parking lot, then he didn’t need that chair. Needless to Day I had to hobble in that store for over two hours to pick up what should have taken me less than an hour to get. I don’t know if he was disabled, but anyone disabled needing a chair cannot jog in the parking lot to beat someone wearing to the wheel chair. I realized that day that people can be terribly cruel and just evil.

    1. I can jog past you in a parking lot as well but I suffer from mild autism, a disease called Mast Cell Activation Disorder that leads me to respond anaphylaxically to almost everything on Earth, and a seizure disorder. I can run a mile, lift weights, and more…but one lady wearing the wrong perfume will leave me sunfishing in the parking lot or completely unable to breathe. It also causes extreme fatigue – so maybe by the time I get to the door, I actually do need the wheel chair. Invisible illnesses make it very very hard to ever know the truth in any situation. The dude may have been gaming you, but maybe not and without his latest check up in hand, you really have no way to tell.

      1. Thanks for posting your response, SR. I have ME/CFS and use handicap parking. I have very limited energy, even though I can walk quickly or “jog”. It’s about stamina. It’s impressive to me that, on an article about not judging people’s invisible disabilities, CC managed to.

      2. I have seen people do that, too…but then they ride that scooter back to their car, so their spouse or parent can go directly from the car to the scooter. Judging that guy is just as wrong as those who judge us….except that we should know better.

    2. Unbelievable!!
      Did you read the article???
      If you did, I am appalled at your remarks!

  37. Okay I have a problem with this one. Living near a military base, there is a higher than normal disabled vets where I live. I own a disabled placard because I have severe arthritis, but NEVER use it. during my shopping trips. Others have paid a Higher price than I to park a little closer.

    1. A “higher price?” I was diagnosed w/ an autoimmune disease at 6 years old, but I’m less worthy of pain-relief than someone who volunteered to serve? I come from a military family, and I don’t know what you’re getting at. Full respect to our military (and to our firefighters, for that matter), but I’m curious to hear more how one goes about tallying up who deserves pain-relief, and who doesn’t.

      1. I have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and a few other medical problems as well. I don’t know about other people, by my criteria for “who needs that mobile cart more” depends on 1) how bad I feel that day, because as everyone suffering from fibro knows, there are better days and worse days. On “worse” days, I can barely crawl out of bed. And 2) the other person’s perceived amount of mobility as compared to my amount of mobility. Most of the time, I don’t use the electric carts, even though grocery shopping should count as a gym work-out. Mostly because I am too stubborn to use the cart until I’m about to fall over right there in the store.

    2. I absolutely understand what you say, but please do remember that just because someone else has it worse, that does not negate *your* need.

      1. Shona, I totally agree with your comment! I understand when people say, there are others that are worst off than me, but the fact that I have to say that to myself says that I am in a bad state. My blood clots for no reason (I am on blood thinners for life), I have Fibromyalgia and Arthritis in my hip, back, and leg; I have had a broken neck, I have had respiratory failure at least three times, I have been on a ventilator between two or three times, I have hypertension, I have chronic asthma, chronic pain, et cetera… A person cannot tell what a person has by looking at them! I am working towards losing weight! The more that I lose the weight, the worse that I feel! I have been on heavy, heavy narcotics and opioids. I would prefer people to ask about my story instead of assuming!

  38. I was in a severe car accident when I was 35 years old I was in a neck and back brace for 3 months I have significant neck and back damage which puts me in debilitating pain on a daily basis some days I can barely move and other days I seem almost normal. I too have a handicap because it is hard for me to walk/stand some days. One day when I was about 40 I parked in a handicap spot at the supermarket because sometimes a supermarket is hard for me ..bags… walking I don’t always like to use the spot if I’m feeling well sometimes I don’t use it and save it for somebody who is worse off on that day but this day I parked in a handicap spot. As soon as I got out of the car an older man started screaming at me that I wasn’t handicapped that I must have stolen the handicap from a family member I just ignored him and walked actually limped into the supermarket. When I get out of the supermarket the man was standing there with a police officer he actually called the cops on me screaming and yelling at me that I was going to get it now and I was going to get in trouble and I was going to get a ticket. I very calmly turn to the police officer and said can I help you sir and he said do you have a handicap ID I said I do sir and I pulled it out my with my driver’s license and everything matched the handicap placard the identification and my driver’s license he said thank you Miss. Turned to the man and said this is her handicap she has a legitimate handicap and this man still proceeded to scream at me some more saying I’m not handicapped…asked the cop “ask her what’s wrong with her” the police officer looked at him and said by law I am not allowed to ask her what’s wrong with her she’s obviously got something wrong with her to have a legitimate handicap identification card and if you do not move along sir I am going to give you a ticket for a disorderly person . So I wanted to share this story because there are plenty of people who mind your own business for you and this was somebody who got what was coming to him in the end.

    1. Almost the exact same thing happened to me. I parked in a handicapped spot and limped into a barber shop. Came out after getting my haircut, got into my car, and was immediately “Blue Lighted”. I asked the officer what was wrong, and he said someone called 911 with my plate number and said I was abusing a placard by parking in a handicapped spot. I showed him my medicare card, and he told me to have a good day.

      That was in South Carolina. I have since moved from there, just in time apparently. I have heard that a few years back, the SC legislature passed a law requiring people’s picture and address to be placed on their placard. I shudder to think of that information in the hands of some of the creepy stalkers and other criminals around who like to prey on disabled people.

  39. The best I experienced was a woman at the grocery store who was behind me in her car so I got the handicap parking spot ahead of her. I have to repeat she was driving the car behind mine driving in the parking lot. She got a handicap spot on the other side of the same aisle. As she walks by my car she says to me “ you know that is a handicap spot”! So being the wise ass that I am, I say “yes I know that”! She starts going on on about taking a handicap spot when handicap people need that spot etc etc. So I pointed out my Handicap License plates to her. Her response “ oh I didn’t notice that”! Really lady you came up to me and harassed me and never even looked to see if I had plates instead of a placard? And who the hell are you to question me about parking there! The only person I will ever show my disabled persons ID to will be policeman. Yes, I am one of those people that sometimes has a good day of being able to walk somewhat normally! No one else has ever questioned me. I just last week got on the plane first again. Yeah they look at you and even my own sister sometimes tells me to walk slower or limp so I look disabled! Really???

  40. I have always wanted to know what a handicapped person looks like. When I was ‘normal’, it never occurred to me to question someone who parked there. I didn’t know anything about invisible illnesses, I just figured it was their business. When my husband was still able to be in a car, I would go to the door curb, take him out and into his chair, then go park the car normally. He never had a placard, he didn’t need one. Besides, I had one.
    On occasion where that wasn’t an option, I’d let the car stick out of a space while I got him in and out. Didn’t need the placard. Before his disability, he did the same for me. Now that it’s just me I use the placard more often than not. I have trouble getting in and out of the car, but if it’s a regular space, I can usually manage. I will stalk someone to get a close space.

    If there is anyone here who thinks a person parking in the handicapped space must be in a wheelchair, what about another mobility devise? Walker, cane? At what point do you judge a person not handicapped? At what point do you say he/she can’t walk because he/she’s too fat, and then feel it your right to tell them? -that one has kept me from using a scooter, even though it’s the illnesses and the meds I’ve had to take that put the weight on. Did you ever stop to think it may not be potato chips and McD’s that makes people fat, but steroids, medications (so many have weight gain as a side effect) -one I was on I gained 60 lbs within 2 months. Did you stop to consider the person might have just lost 100 lbs, until you came along and fat shamed?

    Sorry…off on a tangent. But I am not alone, and I know from experience people like myself have gotten the double whammy.

    1. I completely understand what Penny is saying about the looks someone gives to a person who is “overweight”. I see it all the time when my husband and I are out and about. He has been on and off steroids for over 8 years due to spine injuries and skin conditions and he has a lot of trouble walking for long distances; just a quick trip to the grocery store in the morning can make it so he can barely walk for the rest of the day. And for myself, which is why we have the handicap plates, spending twenty years in the military did a number on my joints making them fatigue quite quickly on top of the everyday joint pain so walking long distances isn’t a cake walk for me either. We both suffer from invisible disabilities and on our good days we don’t utilize the handicap parking spots; and on our bad days, especially really cold winter days, we utilize the parking spots to lessen the amount of walking we have to do. Those that don’t suffer the invisible disabilities we do will never understand how it feels to always be in pain no matter what you do to try and make it go away. I have yet had anyone come up to me and say anything, maybe because I have the veteran handicap plates, I don’t know, but if they do, they will get the wrath of a retired military mother of three boys unleashed on them.

  41. When I fell on my stairs and broke my foot I also broke my spine where it connects to the tailbone. Only thing is the doctors didn’t catch or find that break until 4 years later. During that time it pinched the nerves that run into my legs.i ended up with neuropathy. I could not stand for more than a couple of minutes, could barely walk and was in constant pain. With help of a terrific neurologist it is now a little better but most people assume because I am overweight I don’t need the cane I use or the handicap tag hanging in my car. No one has ever had the nerve to say anything but you can tell by the looks and finger pointing they think I am faking everything. At first I let it bug me but not any more. I don’t know if it is that as I get older I just don’t care. I just think that what goes around comes around in one way or another. And it is their problem not mine, I already have enough of my own and don’t need theirs. But I like others wish we as a world would stop judging others by how they look. It just might make the world a nicer place to be. But until then????

  42. I am 44 yrs old and I could not believe the other day when I was out. Either my husband or daughter drive me around, because I am disabled. I have lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gastroparesis, copd, emphysema, over 50 fractures to my hips, pelvis, and coccyx, spinal stenosis, interstitial lung disease, nerve damage to both legs, fibromyalgia, I am on oxygen 24/7. I use a cane to walk as required by my Dr. I had gotten myself out of the car already, and was changing out tanks before I went inside the store with my daughter. We had just pulled into the handicap space and saw immediately someone trying to turn in (I guess they thought we maybe leaving, I don’t know) and then continue to another space. As the couple was walking by us and I continued to change my tank out, the female in the couple said outloud “Look at her! She’s not even handicap! I know she’s not! She probably doesn’t even have a placard!!!!” (Which I had hanging where it should be) I was shocked! She huffed and walked briskly by with purpose. I assumed she thought since I was younger, I couldn’t be disabled. Boy, I can’t even pray I get around as good as she does at her age, because I already have so much wrong with me now. We get inside and I see her and her husband again. She’s now riding in a scooter. She looked at me with my cane and my oxygen and honestly looked mortified she’d said anything. She should have been. Because at first glimpse, I didn’t “look” the part, she made that comment. Shame on her and shame on anyone for making any of us think we have to prove themselves over a parking spot. I can only pray now that God heals me and I won’t have to use those spots anymore.

    1. My late friend was disabled and she was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car and her 2 sons sitting in the back seats in a disabled parking space in a supermarket carpark waiting 4 her husband who had run in2 the shop. Next thing she heard somebody banging on the window. She lowered the window 2 a security guard who shouted at her 2 move the car (which she could,nt cos she,s never learnt 2 drive ) cos it was a disabled parking space and she was,nt disabled, then he just carried on shouting at her, frightening her and the children and not giving her a chance 2 reply. Eventually she give up and opened the car door and said 2 him * is this disabled enough 4 u* wen he looked at her 2 c she had no legs, she said she,d never seen anybody go red so quickly and muttering an apology and stuttering off some where. People really do need 2 look b4 jumping in with out knowing all the facts

      1. But you were sitting in the car, not getting out! Husband (not disabled) running in for a couple of things. Then you should leave the parking spot for a disabled person who is actually having to exit the car. I would never question someone who doesn’t “look” disabled, but in your case, parking in that spot was wrong.

        1. I’m not sure how it is any better of you, Jem, to challenge her legitimate use of her placard, than it is for anyone else. I am disabled, I have a disability that is real but not always evident, and If I choose to use my placard to be close to the door while my family member goes inside, that is my business. I live near a large city, perhaps it is because I am disabled and afraid to be too far from the front door where someone can help me if I need it. Who are you to judge? If a police officer came up, I would be able to justify that it was my placard by presenting my license. If the police won’t ticket me, who are you, to tell me, as a disabled individual for whom a specialist medical doctor was willing to sign off on a handicapped placard, that I can’t park there if a police officer will not and a court of law will not. Get off your high horse!

          Connie, use your placard any way you deem fit! If you are disabled enough that a Dr. signed off on it, the only one legally entitled to challenge you is a police officer, not these fools with a holier than thou complex!

          1. The only eligible reason for the use of your placard is IF THE DISABLED PERSON APPROVED TO PARK IS EXITING THE VEHICLE.

        2. What if my disability is a heart condition and I want to be near the front to be able to flag someone down If I have cardiac distress. Is that disabled enough to justify the use of my legitimate placard to you?

      2. My only concern with your statement is the fact that you said you (placard owner/disabled person) stayed in the car. Presuming since you didn’t say otherwise that your husband is not disabled. If that’s the case, you should not be in a handicapped shot. Those are for when a handicapped person is getting out, not their partner who is able bodied.

    2. I am a retired PT who has been mildly disabled since childhood polio. I had a placard but often chose not to use it if a fairly close space was available. I had a sudden spinal cord problem after retirement that left me in a wheelchair. My biggest complaint is those who block the van accessible spots while I’m in the store so I can’t let the ramp out to get back in my van. I realize many don’t have visible disabilities but know of more than one who abuse the placards of a relative who is not with them. It is a difficult problem

      1. Or they park so close to your vehicle that you cannot get close to your door with the wheelchair, and have to jump on one foot the length of your car just to get in it.

    3. Unfortunately this is what’s it come down to because there are plenty of individuals out there who abuse it. I have a disable daughter and I have on occassion made remarks to my wife whether or not one is disabled or not
      But we stick to the rule that if they have a sticker its legit and we only question/ approach those who don’t have a sticker. But I would recommend to the police department a Disabled Parking Blitz much like the distracted driving blitz or ride program for the police to request actual ID for whomever is covered. Penalty would be confiscation of the sticker, a heavy fine for using it illegally and suspension for a year from getting a new one – depending on the circumstance.

      1. That’s kind of a heavy consequence if you are disabled and didn’t know it was taken or used without your permission. I say heavily fine and jail the perpetrator. They should know better than to steal benefits.

  43. Before they figured out what was wrong with me, I used one of the motor carts at the Wal-Marts a few times. ALL the dirty looks were mine, because of course I must be using it because I’m a ‘fat and lazy’. I was returning it to it’s home once, and a lady of about 65 (I’m kinda bad at this so she could have been older or younger) looks at me and says, “Oh great. You’re bringing one back. I’m so glad. Soooo many people that don’t really need these things use them, and then I can’t do my shopping.” ::tight polite smile while looking me up and down:: I’m mostly non-confrontational with strangers unless they’re being shitty to my husband or my son , so I was mostly stunned at her blatant bullshit, half laughed, and left. Spent the whole drive home YELLING and swearing about judgmental old ‘Cee U Next Tuesdays’ and their bullshit assumptions, and hoping she gets a nasty case of the runs, and a sneezing/coughing fit while she’s riding around the store. Next time? If there ever is a next time…I’m gonna say something. Something out loud. Maybe that particular person will learn to mind their own business, and F* right off. People don’t owe your their life story to “prove” they’re worthy of the assistance that is out their to be used when you can’t quite do ‘the thing’ without help. Shut your pie hole, and walk the F away.

  44. Hi I’m kasandra I’m 35 years old I love this arterial it explains it to tee on us disabled people who are not visbel injury for people to see I talk about this everyday I get told I’m to young for all my problems and that I look fine I was fine up to 6 years ago I had my last child witch I had section with all 4 of my kids this last time I noticed jolting lighting strikes going down my legs as they put the needle in my back to num me never had that pain b4 well a month later I realized my back hurt so bad I could not stand no more then 5 min I could not walk distances like I use to I was in suver pain I went to doctors they called for MRI co.e to find out I have 3 compound fractures to my lower back disk digestive d and a huruateded balging disk all lower permanent nerve damage to the legs but because you can’t see it physically and I’m only 35 people assume there is nothing g wroung with me I’m in suver pain everyday of my life at 35 I never thought I would have to suffer like this and there is nothing they can do by time I get out the car into the store I’m already ready to site down because my pain rates are so bad I’m emberrased to use the sitters because once again people judge and that can’t see what is wroung with me so I try my best in out of places I dint ask for this and like it was Mention o would more gladly give this up to so.eone else and take a further parking space

  45. I used to park as far from the store as possible to get some exercise and so nobody would ding my car doors. Then in 2010, while sitting at a red light on the highway, some guy running from the police hit me from behind going 75 mph; I should have died. Instead my back and neck, left knee and left ankle were destroyed and I got concussion #6, the worst ever. After four back surgeries, I learned to walk again, my ankle and knee repaired enough to support weight, but not restored. My neck is unfixable due to the injury being right where the ganglia of nerves wraps around the spinal cord. I have some days that I can’t even make it to the truck to go to the store and some that I can walk ok. There have been many times that I made it into the store, but after shopping couldn’t make it back out. I have been harassed many times and had my new truck “keyed”, ruining the paint. I have a concealed carry permit now and if you harass me enough to cause me to reach my boiling point … I might just shoot you. I would get more medical care and more meals in prison than I get now and my wife, who is in a wheelchair and dying, would get some person more able than I and paid for by your tax dollars to push her around and load and unload her wheelchair. We would both be better off … so go ahead and say something to me as I park in the proper handicap spot … I dare you!

    1. I so understand your feelings–I have an invisible disability also. But I am concerned about your threat of violence should someone “harass” you enough. Too many people do shoot others out of anger and it is not ok. Perhaps you were only joking-I hope so. Not leaving my name because I don’t want threats.

      1. Im concerned too. All that needs addressing with a qualified counselor. Im afraid he may actually hut someone in an angry fit.

      2. I’m glad to see I’m not alone! We are never obliged to explain anything about our disability to anyone. I know I have wanted to! Strangers are one thing, but my pet peeve is when friends and family members deny that I am terminally ill! I have been in Palliative Care for over a year, the prerequisite is being terminally ill. I do not look sick, unless you see me everyday. I have lost lots of weight, which I get congradulated for. The truth is, a botched surgery left my esophagus twisted, causing a slow starvation. Emergency surgery resulted in my stomach being removed, as well as a large part of my digestive system. None of this is the basis of my illness, just one more detail piled on top. My disability comes from malignant hypertension, which led to 4 simultaneous strokes while snorkeling 17 years ago. The first 5 years I couldn’t walk, talk, write, even think straight. Terrifying! The super high BP’s caused my kidneys to fail, heart damage, strokes on my retinas, leaving me without peripheral vision, unable to drive. I was 43 when it happened. I live in great pain, if I am out I am having a good hour. Typically my husband does all the shopping, but we try to get out to our neighborhood shops. I can’t tell you how many times I end up waiting in the car, when struck by pain while my husband rushes to get me back home, 2 blocks away. We just started using the disabled placard, as I am very aware of those stares, the eye rolls, and the public denial that I might be sick at all! At this point, I am not going to get better. Every week is more difficult than the last. Next time I run into this (as we all know we will) I doubt I’ll have enough energy to fight back, but I appreciate everyone standing together on this.

      3. unless you have an invisible disability, you really shouldnt knock people like this. you wouldnt understand the pain and such of every day life. unlike you, im not a coward so ill leave my name…

      4. I am not sure if you are commenting to me to not, but I never left a threat I was making a comment “So whoever Judges someone by the way they look, maybe better off not saying something for you may get punched in the face or told off by someone who is pissed for questioning their Disability…” Is not a threat it is a fact, I do not own a gun nor if I did I do not see how that is any of your business…..Where in that comment did I say “I” would punch someone in the face?” No where…Great you do not want threats, which I never made and I don’t want my name known and I do not want to to be questioned about a disability and a parking spot…..

  46. I am 51 and have Stenosis in my neck and spine and that is invisible, Description Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal or neural foramen that results in pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs. Symptoms are typically gradual in onset and may improve with bending forwards mine has not. I have lost all balance and fall and break my bones, I have broken Ribs, my foot twice, my arms both, which makes it hard to carry things….. I had to break up two dog fights that has left me with nerve damage and I had to get a a bone graph from my knee fused to my arm for I lost a bone trying to break up a fight and all are invisible, I have to go through the State I live in and my Dr’s have to sign off so I can get a handicap spot….I also have depression, Bi Polar Anxiety when I am around people…..So Do Not Judge Me because you think I am not disabled….I had to jump through hoops to have to Right to get that Placard and I will never show anyone my card that I carry, you can’t see it, but I feel it each and every day….There is a thing Soft Bones look it up, I recently broke my wrist and thumb from moving my wrist the wrong way….I also have to go to a Pain Clinic to re leave the pain that I am in….So whoever Judges someone by the way they look, maybe better off not saying something for you may get punched in the face or told off by someone who is pissed for questioning their Disability….Sorry for any mistakes I am typing with one hand for my wrist and thumb are broke…..

  47. Well, i can let some things go. Security guards called over to me ‘are you aware you parked in a handicpaddes space?’ Me ‘yes’, ‘do you have a blue badge?’, ‘yes’, ‘do have it displayed?’, ‘yes’, ‘ok, carry on’. I didn’t mind that as he’s checking. Sue i’ll get a basty comment someday, but will just ignore them. Need energy jyst to get through everyday tasks so don’t want to waste any on silly people

  48. I have been reading some of the replies. It amazes me how people belittle others. Thinking they are above someone else. Well I have lived in pain nearly all my life. I was born with birth defects that weren’t visible to the eye. Unless you saw my twisted leg when I was an infant. I wore a brace to straighten my leg. I was also born with a defect in my back and I was also born with an eye condition that hampered me. But I lived as normal a life as possible. One because I was taught to be as independent as I possibly could be. So I have done things that only hurt me more. Because I didn’t want to ask for help.
    I am 68 years old now and I am legally disabled according to my Doctor and the state of Indiana and the Social Security Administration. But I generally go shopping by myself. It’s hard to find someone to help you in the stores at times. So I do what I have to do. If it is lifting a 30 lb bag of pet food or a cylinder of propane I do it. Yes, I suffer for it. But sometimes we have to do what we have to to get things done. You can’t see what is wrong with me. But the first one whoever tells me I can’t park in the handicap space will not forget me. Cause I worked and suffered alot of years. My body is beaten up and I be damned if I let some punk tell me I can’t park there.

    1. I was in a store and a child ask her mom why I was in a moble cart and she said I was lazy and I responded real fast I was not I can not walk for a long time because I have a heart disorder And have had a stroke make it hard to walk she shut up and walked away real fast

  49. A year and a half ago, I stepped out a door and dropped 3 feet on to my butt. I have been in pain every since. I got a handicap placard when I had my hip labram reconstruction, which did not help. My butt hurts, my hip hurts, my shoulder hurts, my upper spine hurts. It hurts when I stand to long. It hurts when I sit. I’ve been to over 200 PT and doctors appointments in this past 1.5 years. I still work part time because I hurt no matter what I do and I’m so tired of sitting around doing nothing. There are times when I feel guilty parking in handicap but after not doing so one time at the grocery store and a car parking so close to me that I had to go in my passenger side and climb over, I lost any guilt I felt. I would trade this placard for my old body that didn’t hurt in a heartbeat.

  50. I constantly get that, I have a badly relapsed clubfoot, that one good days I can hobble in and then back out, but on bad days I must use my wheelchair. But always seemed get confronted before I get out of my vehicle or find a note left on my vehicle because that person is to chicken to say what they wanted to, to my face. Recently I had a lady stopped me before I could get out of my vehicle. My foot has gotten bad so now I must always be in my wheelchair. She said it must feel good to use my parents (actually mine) handicap tag. And that I should be ashamed. Ignoring her, I said please move. She refused to move from my door, so I had to crawl thru my car and open up the back gate and get my wheelchair out that way. The people watching the event go down said, lady you should be ashamed of yourself. I told them thank you and went on my way. But sadly this happened more often when I didn’t constantly need my wheelchair. That and the illegal handicap parking, making it impossible for those like me now needing to get a chair out or back in.

    1. Years ago when I did have a handicap permit, I was going to the grocery store after her dialysis treatment. After parking in the designated handicap space, an older man rushed up to my car and stated there was no way that I was handicapped. I just kept walking and looked at him because clearly the placard was hanging in the window. This man followed me into the grocery store and up and down the aisles insisting that he wanted to know why I was parked in the handicap place. I was looking for security guard or someone to help me but never encountered anyone. Fearing For my safety I ended up rolling up my shirt sleeves and showing him the needle marks and bandages for my dialysis treatment that I had just had so he would get off my back I wouldn’t have to fear for my safety and I could finish my grocery shopping while I was still standing. The harassment of disabled people based on this issue is out of control and ludicrous!

  51. When confronted by a woman who pulled the You don’t look disabled line I turned to her and said “I am so sorry I didn’t recognize you” When she asked what I meant my reply was “Well since you seem to know so much about my medical history I figured you must work in one of my doctors offices and can tell if I am having a good or bad day pain wise” She mumbled and hurried off.

  52. If you have disability you know alot of people misuse the right, 1. A injuries that happin earlier but you are healed now but just never send the sign back,, 2. the O it’s my mom’s car but she at home, 3. The one you can see every rain storm, they jump out of the car a run full speed to get out of the ran,? I’m glad there people out there that question people when they might be doing something wrong, I feel their helping me so I have a spot to park,

  53. The terminology in the U.K. is all wrong (we recently had a man assaulted in Asda (Walmart) Car Park “because he didn’t look Disabled”. He later died and his assailant imprisoned for 5 years.)
    Anyway, we have hundreds of empty spaces which could be used by “Disabled” people. The present ones, nearest the doors/access to buildings should be renamed “invalid” indicating that there are those who are physically handicapped who need to use them.
    “Disabled” is too wide a term today.

  54. NOTE TO ADMIN. Hope you can fix the typos in my reply on chemical sensitivity. “Pee” was to be per my dad. I am instead of “ I’ll Call Back In A Minute “. Sorry, I tried to type better.

  55. WOW! Wheelchair vs non-wheelchair. Whose disability needs the closest parking spaces? Debilitating pain due to many medical conditions qualifies for a parking permit; however you’re all trumped by those medically diagnosed (witnessed by doctors!) with such severe sensitivity to the chemicals in car exhaust that they drop to the parking lot ground in a coma, unable to speak or move with the eyes sometimes open or closed and fully able to hear those who rush to your side to help. Even the EMTs are just learning of the very invisible and very serious disability of Chemical Sensitivity. Be grateful for what abilities you gave as there are always others worse off than you pee my Father. Dad also warned my husband-to-be “No Deposit. No return”. Yes, decades with no diagnosis finally provided a world renowned genetic firm to diagnose me with EDS Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Now my specialists find it amazing that I’ll Call Back In A Minute even functioning, but I look “ok”. I hate to say it because some tell me to just use a wheelchair and I refuse to start now because trying to keep walking although in chronic pain levels the specialist say is 8-9 out of 10 will hopefully keep my muscles from atrophying.

    1. There are truly invisible handicaps, such as heart disease or forms of things like lupus that make it difficult or impossible for people to walk far. Disability means you have a disabling condition. Those of you who think that handicap must be obvious crippling should learn a bit about heart failure, cancer types, and other medical conditions which are not obvious. Some people DO abuse the stickers, and shame on them, but don’t make assumptions based on appearance, please. (Depression needs no special parking, in my opinion, or we would need dozens of spaces!!!!)

  56. So for all of you crying that depression is a disability please tell me what that has to do with needing a handicap parking spot which was the topic of the article.

    1. I normally wouldn’t say anything.
      I’ve been disabled since 2002 and I have had over 35 major surgeries and major procedure since then.
      I also don’t look disabled…Unfortunately the more time that goes by the sicker I get.
      I would give up anything to have my life back and so would all these other people who live in so much pain ,We tend to cry all the time because of the pain which does cause depression ,But that has nothing to do with the constant pain.
      So please get off peoples back .
      If you have a disabled permit it’s because our doctors want us to walk or do things as little as possible.
      We are trying to keep our selves in as least pain as can be.

  57. Before I comment, I too am on the disabled list. My disabilities are very easily overlooked by most. I have not yet requested handicapped placards or identifiers. My time is not that hurried these days.

    For those who box others in in regular parking spaces, shame on you and shame on your bad parking skills.
    As to all this rampant indignity and anger, the population is aging. The percentage of persons with disabilities is only going to increase.
    It might be wise to petition our legislators to require larger percentages of handicapped parking and maybe get our more frequently visited stores into looking into better, friendlier ways to work with that growing part of the consumer population.
    At the very least we could try being a little more patient and kinder with each other.

    Jus sayin.

    1. Most disabled people would love to find that miracle cure and be abled bodied. Only when you have lived with or cared for someone with a disability can you truly have any insight or right to comment or pass judgement. I drive a mobility car due to my husband disability (invisible) epilepsy, asd, spinal injuries due to seizures. We often get that look (mainly from slightly older people) when we park in a disabled bay but it can be the difference between my husband going out for weeks at a time due to pain and distance he can walk at times. He has begged me not to park in a disabled bay many times but it’s either that or risk scratching or denting the car next to me in order to help him get in and out our car and I’m sure those abled bodied people would be horrified to return to such damage (I know I would be) So I brought a window sticker ( I don’t look disabled, you don’t look ignorant but there you go). Our badge is only used when my husband is in the car and will be getting out at some point.

    2. jenny dear. instead of being such a hateful, mean human being, maybe you should go to school and learn how to spell. maybe spend some time in a library? I wish you all the happiness in life and I’m so happy you can park and run into those stores to “be independent.” please buy a dictionary while there because the rest of us have a hard time trying to figure out what in the heck you are saying.

    3. Jenny, I am so sorry that you are so angry at people who would love to not use that space. Whom ever did what ever they did to you to have so much anger in your heart should be a shamed. I also pray that you are never in this position. It truly is hell on earth.

  58. I think its ridiculous if ur in a wheelchair u think u should have more rights. U can move around more freely in ur chair then those with invisible disabilities. Us ppl, the general population do not have to accomidate u, the business where u visit does. (Nobody has to move there car to pls u) sorry, not sorry. If i gotta pee in the bathroom and your behind me, imma still walk in the bigger handicap stall. Im still gonna park where it suits my needs, and shop how i want. Imma make to the door how i feel its best 4 me. Imma check out where its convienient for me. And unless ur gonna do my shopping for me and pay for my stuff, your not gonna tell me where to park or anything, and u have no right to ask me medical queations, especially under the medical privacy laws. Its none of your business how or why i do things…. and ur not gonna deny me my state rights, federal rights, or constitutional rights, bcuz u have no right to. So, if u think u need more accomadations for.parking spaces talk to ur local stores where u shop, its problem. I have enough of my own problems i dnt have time to deal with your whiney complaining. If its to much of a hassel for u when u go shopping just stay home. Some.ppl are determined, some need to walk some, some want to walk while.they still.can some r maybe pushing a loved one, but u have to tolerate the rest of us like we have to tolerate your bs. Get over yourself and your chair, maybe get off your bummm and figure it.out without expecting every1 else to do it 4 u. (Be more independant).

    1. Darling Jenny, try getting a wheelchair or walker to the door in an ordinary space. You do not have a constitutional or state right to drive and when you got your license, you did it knowing there are rules, or do you drive sidewalks? You have no idea what pushing it takes just get out of the house. You are a narcissistic little twit. P.S. “Imma”? Are you five? I mean, you speak like one.

    2. Hey sociopath Jenny: How spoiled and entitled you come across – no empathy. Wait until you get older. The world is not a better place with entitled people like you. Know what it’s like being in a wheelchair? It sucks. So you are saying to vets and 90 year old grandmas that they should not have better rights than you? Well It’s the law. You are way beyond extra. You won’t be young forever, and all it takes to put you in a wheelchair is a bad fall, shrapnel from war, cancer, lupus and a host of other diseases. But you’ll find out, you ungrateful sniveling spoiled brat. But then your whiny, and you are truly whiny, will complain that you should be treated better if you end up in a wheelchair. You shame yourself and your parents. Bet you screamed and got your way. Anyone reading this with kids or grandkids, Jenny is what you’ll get if you give a kid everything and cave in when they throw a tantrum. BTW- With you attitude, you are your own worst problem.

  59. I have had someone take a picture of my license plate. I have coronary vasospasms, where the main artery to my heart clamps down and spasms. I cannot walk long distances or carry anything over 10lbs and I was told by this person that I was perfectly fine. I didn’t even argue with her, then she followed me in and around the store. She didn’t stop until I went to the pharmacy and the pharmacist called security on her.

  60. I to am not visibly handicapped and I would like to add one experience I’ve encountered not mentioned above. When I come out from shopping and barely able to walk I have been yelled at for not returning the cart to the designated space for it. I bless God when I am able to pull into a handicapped spot and someone has left a cart, not in the way of parking, but close enough that I can lean on it. Since the stores have not considered this I try to be thoughtful enough to help the next person not to mention I would be lucky to be able to walk both to and from the designated place.

  61. I have Guillian-Barré Syndrome. While I’m recovering from being paralized I still need a wheelchair (as I’m not able to walk yet) and can’t get in a car yet but I am so not looking forward to when I can. Even if all I could manage is standing and pivoting to get in my chair I’m am damn well sure people will berate me because I don’t look like I need a chair (I’m 27) or I’m so nervous even now because I’m able to push myself around using my legs (and arms if I’m tired) I’m waiting for the day for some ass to see that and pull the whole ‘bet you don’t even need that chair’ and I have my reply ready “Oh? Well you don’t know or need to know my medical history.” It’s so draining. Even if it hasn’t happened yet on the world we live in a have to be ready to face it.

  62. Can you see CHF, can you see the spinal surgery I have had, can you see my weak heart.and my swo;;en leg that holds the water my heart can’t, can you see the 1 yr of recovery I made after hving a serious STROKE? Can you see that I am a Veteran and have an anger issue with people that annoy me withg things that are none of they’re business and my PTSD can kick in any second and you could cause me to pull your nose fr enought out the people think you Pinnochio, No, and it’s not any of our business whats wrong with me. I have a Dr that signed my Application for my Placard, and I took my Dr’s DMV form to the DMV to prove I need help with my disabilities. I passed the requirements to obtain that Handicapped right according to State and Federal Laws. So as I said, IT’S NOT YOUR BUSINESS, you need to shut up and stop the Harrasing of Handicapped people before you run in to one like me. LEAVE ME ALONE with your stupidity. I am in a lot of hidden pain and don’t care what your opinion of my handcap is.

    1. Your comment is an insult to people who use wheelchairs. Why do you ASSUME that everyone in a chair has the strength to roll themselves across a parking lot? They also need those close to the door spots with a ramp access next to the spot. I try to avoid the “van only” marked spaces or park on the right side space as most vans have a right sided entry door.
      A person who used to have an invisible disability, that is now visible.

  63. To all those wheelchair bound folks complaining about those of us with invisible illnesses taking limited, close handicapped spots: since you have a wheelchair, you can park further away, where there are no cars in your way to unload your mobility device and leave the closer spots for those of us that can’t walk long distance.

    1. The non handicap spaces are not wide enough to accommodate the space needed to fit the wheelchair up to the car door nor are they wide enough to swing the car door open fully to maneuver lowering oneself into the chair from the car and then turn the chair around to close the door and wheel between the neighboring car to get from between the spaces to actually wheel to the building.

      PS your was insensitive.

    2. When all the handicap spaces are filled, Love the people who park in the striped areas next to the spaces. I couldn’t open door all the way for wife’s wheelchair after telling the sitting in car he is illegally parked. His answer I’m handicapped also. Usually a nice guy, but he hit a nerve so I proceeded to bang my car door into his door. He yelled I aid move if he didn’t like it.

    3. In addition to the issues others have mentioned, I have lost count how many times I have nearly been run over in my wheelchair in parking lots just trying to get around the lot from the handicap parking area. You seriously expect people who are in wheelchairs, lower to the ground so harder to see for cars backing up, to go park at the far end of the lot & risk out actual LIVES for your preference? The odds of a closer standard spot (which we can’t unload ourselves in, because physics) coming available if you use a few minutes of patience are much higher than the odds of a spot a wheelchair user can use independent coming available over the course of 20+ min (yes I routinely have to wait that long to be able to park & exit my van at the nearest grocery store, which has 4 handicap spots that are routinely all full while the regular spots aren’t even half occupied).

      Maybe a better solution would be tiered need handicap parking and MORE of them. There really are not proportionately as many vehicles with side-access 8ft access area needs as the current federal regulations require, and there is nothing preventing fully ambulatory disabled people from using the only “van accessible” spot in a lot even when other accessible spots are available. Maybe requiring every lot have one van accessible (with a corresponding specific permit required to park there unless all other spots were occupied since people can’t seem to just use their empathy and logic to do that on their own), one with the 5ft access (which is needed by people who need to open the door all the way to enter/exit – I am a wheelchair user and drive a van but I do not need the 8ft space since I don’t have a side-load, 5ft or even 3ft is totally sufficient). Then additional spaces marked as reserved for ambulatory disabilities that don’t need the extra space for loading/unloading (maybe just make the spaces 10ft wide instead of the standard 8ft). Could that possibly meet everyone’s needs? Requiring a minimum of three (one of each type) spot in every parking lot with 3 or more parking spaces?

      Also please note, there is no law prohibiting making the entire parking lot handicap parking only. There are proportion minimums, but no maximums. Businesses could make 25% of the entire lot designated disabled parking spaces (or do an experiment like what I suggest while meeting the federal requirements for now). That isn’t in the power of disabled people just trying to go about living our version of a normal life. Don’t be a part of the problem, eh?

  64. We get the same in the UK from the idiots who believe it’s their fight to question everything and everyone.

    Whenever one of these idiots approaches me and says ‘you dont look disabled’, my response is generally, ‘well, you don’t look stupid’, and then I walk off.

    Its caused a few arguments over the years, but I just carry on and ignore them.

  65. I to suffer from an invisible disability. I am a disabled Veteran of the U.S. Army. At age 23 I served for 6 months before getting injured, and honorably/medically discharged. I’m 39 now and I suffer from a service connected Bilateral knee condition that has since spread to my hips and lower back causing me extreme pain where my bones snap, crackle, pop, and my joints buckle after a while of walking/standing. My disability (as mentioned by my PCP) will land me in a wheel chair later in life. I also suffer from PTSD, Depression, and Tinnitus. I was granted a handicapped placard, however due to my age; and how well others think that I move, I am not judged vocally for my parking, but for my use of devices that are designated for the disabled (mobile shopping carts). I simply pull out my VA service connected disability card, and leave the trolls to embarrassments that they create for themselves. I truly wish that we all could trade places with the trolls that make it hard on us. I would do almost ANYTHING to have my abilities back! Instead I’m stuck with a broken body, and a world of evil people who are quick to judge and confront instead of simply showing compassion or even asking if there is indeed something wrong. People please! NEVER assume that just because we LOOK normal that everything is OK with us. We have to deal with our problems EVERY DAY as it is already! We don’t need your judgments added to our already trying lives and situations. You would want the same if the tables were turned on you.

    1. I have an invisible disability too. Your Doctor has to sign a paper to say you are disabled to park in the disabled parking.
      I was born with Cerebral Palsy. It’s a mild case I can walk but I can’t stand for long . A woman in CT did the same thing wanted to see the card & asked if it was real.

      We have much right as people in wheelchairs to park there if we have the card. I don’t use a cane or wheelchair .
      Each of us are different with invisible illness. As I call it. Be kind don’t judge people .

      1. I too have an invisible handicap,my surgeon calls my spine a leaning tower and I can’t walk on concrete, only can walk 5minutes without having to stop, and it’s so painful,so when I park in a handicap spot here we go with all the looks,guess what you don’t know my story,stop judging and I wouldn’t park in a handicap spot if I didn’t have too.

      2. Lori, my daughter’s dad has mild CP and he has been targeted so many times. It was lesson our daughter learned early in life. Never judge or assume because you have not walked in that person’s shoes.

        1. Yes I understand my dad was handicapped too . His back went out at 24 he had several surgeries. I saw how people treated him. I never thought of my Cerebral Palsy as a disability until I got older where I can’t walk as good now do much. My pelvis is uneven I have asthma.

    2. Tonja Clark I’m one of those people with BAD KNEES. I’ve lived for 65 years, 60 years of that in pain and invisible disability. Up until I turned 45 was very much able to be one of those people who could go without the parking placard and leave the hashed space for people in wheelchairs or disabilities that can be seen. Well I’m in so much pain every step I take with my bad knees that affect my hips, back, neck and shoulders that are total invisible. I severely hope and pray that you and other who think like you never, go through the pain of trying to stand, walk or sit for any lenght of time that we do. Have you ever tried to live without knee pain.

      1. I am praying for God to give you peace, because based on your cruel comments you have been wounded not only physically but spiritually. Sometimes pain alters our thought process. Hopefully you will have a change heart in the future. #youdontknowmystory #armyvet #inpain #upatnightinpain

  66. Disabled by an invisible disability does NOT automatically qualify a disabled person for handicapped parking. Read your states rules. Mine does not address “invisible disabilities” and Colorado uses the word SEVERE. I can only use 5 spaces in a parking lot of 100 because of my chair. Only 2% of parking is legally required to be hashed, so 2/100. I have to wait on those few spaces to clear before I can go into a place because I cannot unload my chair without the hash marks. I have damaged cars and a motorcycle getting my chair out before. Why do people with invisible disabilities think they are “entitled” to those 5 hashed spaces that I can use??? There are plenty of close spots around them so why not wait patiently for a few minutes while a close one clears?? This sense of entitlement is out of hand. I was injured before the ADA so I remember when there wasn’t spots to be abused. I am going to lobby my legislature for tougher rules regarding handicapped parking. When someone with an able body and invisible disability hits me….I have already decided I will go after the doctor that gave them their tag to begin with….. I am tired of near misses rolling through parking lots because people are too lazy or demented to walk and exercise themselves. I see exactly how we got into the opiate/overdose situation. Those people who could not bother to take the time to read the warnings given out on prescriptions for the last 20 years are the same people who seem to think their bad knees entitled them to slashed blue parking spaces.

    1. Do think you are special because you are in a wheelchair? Your disability is more important than another disabled person? Who are you to judge another’s pain or capabilities? You obviously have a lot of bitterness because of your accident. You need to get some therapy or I guess you might prefer wallowing in your self pity instead. After all you are far more important than anyone else.

    2. You are a piece of work. Stay home if its to much for you.Their will always be someone out there worse off then you. Your judgements on others should be left to God. Praying for you that you can let some of your anger go and enjoy the fact that some would just die for the opportunity to get out of the house in the first place. Life is short, dont always assume the worst in others. Its what made you bitter in the first place. Thank God daily for ALL the things you are able to do and Ill promise you,your life will be a much happier place..

    3. I’m sorry some people have trouble with parking.
      But I feel strongly that there is no hierarchy of disabilities.
      And that access hoarded is access denied.

    4. Invisible just means you cannot see or it is not visible to the eye, not all disabilities require a wheelchair, scooters or other devices. (Could be early stages and require such devices in the future)Many people are in severe pain, have breathing problems or other disabilities that allows handicap parking. It’s not for you to judge.

    5. So that’s basically saying people like me (I have a permanent knee disability due to injury) wouldn’t be allowed to park in those spots, even though I have a valid permit & need a cane to walk even short distances. Furthermore, I need that space bc I cant bend my left knee past the 75-80° degree mark & need extra space to even get in & out of my car (and it still takes a contortionist act to get around my car door). I’ve been boxed in by people parking too close to me in “regular” spots before to the point where I literally couldn’t not even get in my car. Needless to say, I think I’m going to side with my Dr & the local government that both signed off on my permit.

    6. I have a “invisible” disease called Behcets Syndrome. Yes.. I look fine on the outside but did anyone see my husband pick me up out of bed this morning to help me go to the bathroom? Did you see my husband help me get dressed because I couldn’t stand on my own to do it myself. Did you see my 12 year old holding my head so I don’t bounce it off the floor with my seizure? NOPE you didn’t see any of that. When I first get up in the morning I hurt so bad I can not stand on my own. It takes me a couple hours to get moving every day. I don’t use a walker or wheelchair when I’m out and about because I have already stretched and got my joints loosened up but that does not mean I can walk long distances. I have seizures that completely drain my energy so there are days I can only walk a few feet. So.. just because I refuse to use a walker or wheelchair doesn’t mean I’m not disabled. When I am feeling okay I do park further out and let others park in the HC spot but you better believe when Im hurting I will use the HC spot because that is my right. I went through the paperwork just like anyone in a wheelchair did to get their HC placard. This judging others because the way they look is very disheartening. This make people like myself anxious about going out in public because of the judging.

    7. I have Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I appear healthy. I taught myself to not limp no matter how much pain I’m in. I can’t use a cane or Walker to help my degenerative Painful hips and legs because my painful arms & shoulders are too weak. If I had a wheelchair I couldn’t make it go forward, so a wheelchair would be useless to me. So yes I get the “you look healthy” crap too.

    8. Look! All of us! We’re fighting each other, judging each other, without need, because we’re not the ones limiting the parking spaces! Businesses *want* less handicapped spots, because they don’t want to have to deal with them! They are the people limiting us, not each other!

      It’s fucking tough being disabled! I should know, I have both invisible and visible disabilities. I started with invisible ones, even ones people like to argue don’t count for a parking space, but. Having ended up with multiple disabilities, they all count! Those of you with wheelchairs, you’re right! You need the extra space! But don’t judge those without wheelchairs, you don’t know anymore than some abled body person does! Those of you with invisible disabilities, you’re right! It’s hard and being closer to the front makes life a little easier, but don’t gatekeep the wheelchaired! Literally, we’re in this together! We all have to fight together to stay under this umbrella of protection against ableism, and attacking each other isn’t going to make the umbrella more roomy! If we kick someone out, capitalism is just going to go “Well, guess you don’t need the umbrella that big anymore.” and just shrink it on the rest of us! But if we stand together, we can protect each other and ourselves. Don’t give in to the temptation to find a scapegoat. We only have each other.

      Sincerely, a depressed, ptsd’d, anxious, fibromyalgia’d, arthritis’d, POTS’d disablied person.

    9. Tonja Clark it just amazes me how you think you are more entitled to a better spot just because your disability is visible. And you have to use a wheel chair. There are plenty of serious invisible disabilities that you can not see.
      And it’s none of your business, but I’m sure you make it your business and probably even say stuff to others you deem as not having disabilities. No one who’s is disabled should have to answer to anyone else! You are not their dr and you do not know what’s going on with them medically.
      I’m 43 years old and I have Degenerative disc disease in my lumbar and thoracic spine. Which is mild and I have Osteoarthritis throughout my entire body.
      No I do not have a disability card nor do I want one. Because as of right now I’m not”disabled”!
      But when the time comes and I do need one I sure in the hell wont let someone tell me I can’t park there because you can’t see my disability.
      I won’t use a walker or wheel chair unless it’s absolutely Necessary.
      I pray for you to have an open mind and heart because right now it’s closed and judgemental.

    10. Why are you to judge how disabled someone is or where they can park? I have multiple disabilities and some days they are less visible than others. I was born legally blind and have developed arthritis in my knee and ankle. One of my ankles just gives out sometimes when I walk on it. I also had a stroke which left me with balance issues and loss of sensation in my arm and leg. I do walk unassisted, but the more I walk the worse the issues get. So yes I can walk however I do have a legal disabled parking pass.

  67. I have peripheral neuropathy in both legs, feet, and hands. I am one who to look at me you would thing there’s nothing wrong with her. Look under my skin is what you need to do to understand. I am not going to list every thing wrong with me because I will never feel the need to explain myself to anyone. Yes back in the day they would give a check to drug abusers and the system was manipulated by many. I filed my disability in 2014 and had 3 trips in front of the judge before I won my case, they found be to be disabled in 2015 even though I didn’t win until 2018. For those of us that had to fight, handicapped does not mean being in a wheelchair or using a cane, here is the true definition of handicapped – handicapped person – a person who has some condition that markedly restricts their ability to function physically or mentally or socially. individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul – a human being; “there was too much for one person to do” This pretty much defines it’s true meaning. PTSD is real, Depression, Bipolar, they are real. Until any one of you can say that you suffer from anything that has some sort or debilitating action on your everyday life, please don’t feel free to judge me. I have my handicapped permit and use it on a regular basis. It’s not an honor to have one, it’s meant to help me. Just because you’re disabled doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a normal life. Parking closer is a big help for me and many others.

    1. This is for Mary. I have an idea. Since you’re in a wheel chair, why don’t we make extra wide spaces for you at THE BACK of the parking lot. After all, you’re in a wheelchair and feel no pain as you go up to the store!! I, on the other hand, am in need of a knee replacement and am in constant pain. My Left knee is double the size of my right knee, and I limp, especially when I first start walking. But I don’t use a cane, walker, or wheelchair. When I go shopping , I go in, get what I need and leave. I don’t lolligag or go looking to see if there maybe something I might want or need and forgot to put on my list. I can’t. Just that little bit of walking is more than I can take. But hey! You got that fancy wheelchair! You can go However far you want without bone on bone! Maybe that’s what the rest of us should do! Write to our legislators and demand wheelchair spaces be put at the back of the parking lot. After all, you only need a wider parking space. We’re the ones in pain that need to be closer! (Before everyone bashes me, please realize this is not how I feel about people in wheelchairs. Just entitled ones that feel they are better than others).

      1. Have you ever tried to push a shopping cart through a snow plowed lot. You are pushing with all your might and if you are disabled it is very hard. I live in a small town so we are very limited for Handicapped parking spots, but can you imagine having to use a wheelchair and have to park at the far end of the parking area after it has snowed. They can’t clean right down to the pavement so there is always snow on the parking area. That is down right insensitive to suggest someone should have to park there because you have more difficulty walking. I have a sign but after reading all these comments I know I will be more conciencious when deciding if ” today ” I might or might not need a parking spot.

  68. There is a wheelchair depicted on disabled spaces for a reason. People with wheelchairs and who need mobility devices like walkers need wider spaces to get in and out of the vehicle, or transfer from the store’s automated shopping cart into their car. If you are fortunate enough that you can stand up and walk to the building, then be courteous and give up your disabled space when a woman says she needs it for her mother. She was standing up for people who are disabled in a world where so many abuse these spaces. Your article does not help the situation, it only encourages people who think a hidden illness like depression entitles then to take a parking space from someone who can barely walk five steps.

    1. I would like to reply directly to Mary. I am one who has and invisible illness. No I do not walk with a cane, wheelchair or Walker. However I can’t walk long distances because I and a 47 year old woman with Asthma and Stage 2 Hypertensive Heart Disease with Diastolic Heart Failure. I have Congestive Heart Failure, however you wouldn’t know that unless I told you or you watched me pull out my inhaler as soon as I enter the store. You can’t assume our illnesses are any less than someone else’s because we dont need devices to walk.

    2. I cant walk more than 10/15 steps but don’t use a wheelchair because it causes my back to spasm, if I could drive my car through the shop I would. The next best thing is to park as close as possible, what makes you think that you have the right to say you need it more than I do.

    3. This reply is for Mary Daniels. There are so many hidden disabilities that you cannot see at a glance that this comment would make me laugh if it were not so sad. I won’t bore you with the list, I will leave it up to you to educate your own self and hopefully you can gain some knowledge and possibly some empathy. To use depression as your one and only example of a hidden illness makes my head shake. Why don’t you check your privilege and get informed. Not all disabilities are visible and most importantly you do not need to use a wheelchair to use a disabled spot in a parking lot.

      1. To Mary… do some research… my daughter has Ehlers Danlos, you can’t see it…. but her hip (and most all other joints sporadically dislocate) she stays in pain every day…. has two children and receives crap from people about her handicap placard often. She is 24 looks 14 (part of Ehlers Danlos) and you can’t see her disease. Our world would be such a better place if people functioned out of a place of grace versus judgement and thinking they know everything…

    4. This is for Mary.
      My son looks like a “normal” toddler. We receive a handicap pass for him. He has a congenital heart defect and has had 1 of several heart surgeries that he will need. On top of this, he has ocular albinism, is legally blind, and has nystagmus. He may not be in a wheelchair but he needs the larger space. He needs to be closer to the front for HIS safety. He can’t see cars coming, he can’t tell if the door would open too far, and his heart and lungs don’t like to cooperate well even on a good day.
      Sorry his lack of a need to perfectly match a painted picture annoys you.

      Next time, make sure you wear a very triangular dress to use the woman’s restroom so you can perfectly match the picture!

    5. Umm that’s not the point of the article. You dont get handicap tags for depression. I have several of these so called in visible illnesses. Herniated discs arthritis that can be crippling and lupus and possible MS. All the above I just mentioned you can not see. But I can barely walk most days and definitely not far. So yes to have people look at you with a hateful look just because I dont need a wheelchair yet does not mean I am abusing my right to park in a handicapped space. Yes there are people out there that abuse handicap spots.what she is saying just because I dont look broken and disabled doesn’t mean that I am not. I have had dirty looks at stores where I park in handicap spot just to try to walk in and get a few things and meds because my hip popped out of place and I was barely sleeping for 4 days because of the excruciating pain. I only look like I am in my 30s but I am over 45. My body is broken early on because I was the unlucky one who got all the immune disorders that destroyed my body way to young and quickly. On top of being a health care worker where my back was destroyed lifting some one else’s loved on so they didn’t fall to the floor. Just don’t judge no one really knows. Doctors dont just give these out like door prizes.

    6. To respond to the comment that Mary made: it actually takes a lot of medical documentation to get a doctor to agree to signing documentation necessary for a disabled placard (in my experience). You are correct in saying that the woman who fights for her mother’s right to have access because she is in a wheelchair has the right to do so, but having depression is not considered a physical disability that would qualify for a placard. Please try to be more sensitive in your assumptions about people who are using these placards. Chronic pain is hidden, as is MS at times. Neuropathy can cause balance issues that make navigating uneven ground dangerous and difficult. In some ways I would rather have lost a limb and need a prosthetic device just so that people would actually take me seriously when I explain how I am limited and can’t work or walk far. I have good days when I choose to park farther away and leave an HP space open. And then I have terrible days when merely pushing open my car door takes all of my energy and I am exhausted before I even get out of the car. Never Assume – because it makes an Ass out of U and Me…

    7. Just because a disabled person can walk into a store DOESN’T MEAN THEY SHOULD. I was born crippled and only just found this out in the last few years and I’m middle aged. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and a lot of complicated comorbidities including Long QT Syndrome which is just ONE of my deadly issues.
      I’m a wheelchair user but there are times I have to walk and when I do I must suffer stress fractures and the like.
      Best part? I look like a late 20 something beauty so no one likes to have it jolted home that yes, I am as crippled as Yennifer before her fucking transformation.

    8. I think there needs to be a nationwide movement to educare Americans on ADA, the use of handicap parking spots and why you should not park on the hash marks next to handicap spots. Police are not enforcing laws on handicap parking or consider it a low priority. Those who violate the handicap parking spot laws will lie to you and tell you the laws were recently reversed or make up some other garbage. Whether you have an invisible or visible handicap right to use those spots, there needs to be a movement to educate everyone on the proper use of these spots. Too often legitimately disabled people are challenged or denied use of these spots because the general public knows the authorities do not want to be bothered enforcing ADA laws.

    9. Yes my sister is an amputee and to have a handicapp parking space where we live is totally unthinkable. Usually I have to park in the middle. the parking lot to get her in and out of the car. People only think of themselves. She has to take the wheelcahair and has to have enough space inbetween cars to not hit or scratch them. I got so I don’t care since they don’t. So be it for their stupidity. I have a handicapped sticker and use it whenever I need to. Yes I have hidden disability and did not ask for this handicap sticker that my doctor gave me. Depending on how I feel I will park in a regular space but if I am in pain and it takes me every discomfort step I will use my approved sticker regatdless of what people say or think. Just wish people would be more respectful when it comes to people who has to be wheelchair. PUT YOURSELF IN THESE SITUATIONS OR HAVE SOME EMPATHY. THINK ABOUT THIS IF IT WAS YOU OR YOUR LOVE ONE.

    10. Mary,
      People who have mobility issues without wheelchairs, walkers, or cane need additional space to fully extend doors. I received a hip injury from simply putting my foot on the ground and standing as an a person without a disability at that time. Because of that and other joint conditions, I need the hashed area to simply exit my car. This does not speak to the pain of simply moving or walking. I walk as much as I can now; because with aging, I will walk much less in the not- so -distant future.

  69. Only time I confronted someone was a youngish woman in a big SUV who parked HC with no signage. We have the placard but had to park several aisles away. When I asked her if she had a HC placard, she “innocently” said “Oh did I park in a HC space?” Me “yes, you did, and we had to park a few aisles away.” She “well, I’m leaving anyway.”

  70. My first experience with a handicapped placard was when I worked for an elderly lady. Her daughter would take her mother’s car to town because she could park in the handicapped space with it! She thought I should do it too. (I did not! I thought that would not only be lazy but lying.) ~More recently, I was caring for both of my parents who were handicapped. Mobility was actually much easier when my father was in a wheelchair than when he was trying to walk the distance. Having to get them into places made me more sensitive to the issue and I DO sometimes look to see if a car in the handicapped parking spot has placard or symbol on the license plate. ~I think the only time I ever actually confronted someone about it, though, was when I was at the doctor with my father and couldn’t find a close parking place and then an obviously healthy person came trotting out to get into his car (that had no symbol) which was in the space we needed. “I was only in there five minutes!” said he when I suggested the parking spot should only be used by the handicapped. ~None of you who have had people question your disability (which is invisible) would have that problem if there weren’t people who used the spaces just for convenience. The questions frustrate you, but those folks are actually trying to stand up for the disabled. And you probably don’t wish you looked more like something was wrong with you. So let us try to be patient with one another. The only real villains here are the ones who are NOT handicapped and park in the spaces because they are lazy.

  71. I have stage 3b cancer and chemo related heart failure. Though I have and use a wheelchair I can’t balance all my groceries in my lap so I walk in and gratefully use the store cart to shop. My heart pumps 15% of normal. By the time I get in the store my vision is going black due to lack of blood to my brain. Often people stop to let whoever out of their car in front of me at the door while I am walking in and I have to hold on to their car to keep from passing out. I have passed out in the parking lot several times requiring an ambulance. I often come back to my car to find notes about how I am lazy and not handicapped. People comment Forget your wheelchair? I laugh and say Oh are you going to push me and a cart so I can shop? If I go to the store and there are no handicapped spaces I just have to go home without groceries! Can’t eat fast food or eat out due to the sodium.

    I began years ago parking closely behind anyone in a handicapped space without plates or a plackard and either calling 911 or just going on in to do my shopping! They are usually cussing and screaming when I come out and threatening to call the police! I say go ahead I will wait with you and see what they say! I tell them now you know how I felt waiting with no place to park, I waited but you didn’t come out. Now you can wait for me! One smarty reversed into the side of my car on purpose and got his car towed and a trip to jail.

    At my daughter’s gymnastics place I am required to go in and sign her out. Same lady every week parked in the one handicapped space and I asked her if she had a handicapped card and she said Oh I am just going to be a minute, so I was often late getting my daughter. The next week I got behind her, parked and was getting my wheelchair out and she has the utter audacity to say you can’t park there!!! I said nicely Oh I am just going to be a minute! My daughter wanted to show me her stuff, then I had to be in line to pay and she came in furious telling me I HAD to move my car NOW that she was in a hurry! She never parked there again, I quit using the space because a little boy with muscular dystrophy started lessons and needed the space at the same time. The gym allowed me to check out my daughter by phone from then on. After years of this I am fed up and asserting MY rights! Not being vindictive. Just not being a doormat anymore! Come mess with me, I will get your licence plate number and sue You for slander!

    1. God bless you my heart goes out to you. Your a fighter and deserve that space as much as any other handicap person if not more because of your heart issues. I hope your cancer free and live a long healthy life from here on out. My prayers will be with you for continued health.

  72. When I was diagnosed with stage 3 heart failure and could not walk very far without sitting down to rest. I was grateful my cardiologist had the thoughtfulness to write to the Secretary of State that handles disabled placards requesting one. It has been very helpful in allowing me to go about somewhat normally, which is necessary for me to continue to live. You see, I have to be active or my heart will deteriorate farther. I do not use a wheelchair or cane because I don’t need them.
    So far, I have not been approached by anyone challenging me for parking in a disabled spot. If they needed the spot more than me, I would gladly give it up and walk a bit farther to accommodate them. We need to be more civil to one another as a community and as a country.

  73. I mean this with all due respect but you can’t blame people for assuming you are not disabled because it isn’t obvious just by looking at you. Do you have any idea how many able bodied people are scamming the system? I mean people get disability checks because they are depressed or do drugs these days. Everything is considered a disability now. People who actually have disabilities are getting screwed over thanks to people like that. It’s total B.S.

    1. Depression is a disability FYI to have any idea what untreated or untreatable depression can do to someone it can lead to suicide depressive psychosis it destroys families and lives takes jobs friends family relationships it can destroy your life so you should do some research before you go assuming depression isn’t a disability people like you ruin it for people like me that suffers from clinical depression and have had depressive psychosis before so really I feel bad for you that your mind is closed and you assume things about people without having any facts

      1. Depression is not a disability that qualifies for handicapped parking, though. Certain criteria have to be met for that, and depression does not meet them.

        1. Okay Deb
          so your saying that DEPRESSION ISN’T A DISABILITY AND YET IT’S A SYMPTOM OF OF PTSD ALONG WITH MANY OTHER MENTAL ISSUES SUCH AS BEING BIPOLAR AND SO ON AND SO ON you need to go and ask a shrink if depression is a disability before you take and over load your JUDGEMENTAL ASS with out first getting your facts correct and yes i can and will say you are in fact one of those people that are a judgemental ass!!! I am one of thousands if not millions of people in this world that suffer from being BIPOLAR, Manic Depression and PTSD all of which are the silent disabilities but I also have physical problems to that you more than likely will say are not a disability such as Osteoarthritis which is also called Degenerative joint disease and yes I can walk just like you or anyone else for that mater but to do so causes severe pain that i have to use a cane and eventually will have to have joint replacements done or even worse have fuseions done if in the back and in the long run be put in a wheel chair to be mobile so before you open mouth and insert your foot about this again GO READ UP ON IT OR BETTER YET TALK TO A MENTAL HEALTH DR ABOUT IT AND LISTEN WITH BOTH EARS IF YOU HAVE THEM

          1. Deb did not say that depression is not a disability. She said that depression is not a disability that meets most state requirements for obtaining a handicapped placard. These are two very different criteria. As the parent of a child with a disability from birth, she did not need the use of a handicapped parking space although she does meet the social security requirements for receiving disability. My husband on the other hand is also disabled and does meet the requirements for social security and a handicapped placard. Legally, in my state at least, I am only allowed to display and use the placard, thus a handicapped parking space, when my husband or daughter are in the vehicle. My daughter now qualifies for use of a handicapped space although she was over 25 years old before that was the case.

            Depression is a legitimate disability for which a person can receive social security or private disability. However, without a coexisting limitation that the doctor is willing to swear to, a handicapped placard is not provided to a person with disability. Depression is a typical coexisting condition to chronic pain. You will receive disability payments for depression but would receive the handicapped placard, if supported by doctors oath, because of the chronic pain that limits walking, standing, health and safety, etc.

            And to Ms. Daniels, their is a picture of a wheelchair on the handicapped spaces, bathroom doors, etc because it is the universal symbol to depict disability. A wheelchair is simply a tool used by individuals who have a physical impairment. It does not mean, nor was it ever meant to mean that only individuals with a wheelchair can utilize those spaces or restrooms. You are seeking special treatment amongst a population who would give just about anything and everything to be able to park in the very last space in a parking lot and walk without shortness of breath, pain, light-headless, dangerous drop in blood pressure, joints that buckle and give out, etc. There is no Heirarchy in the world of disabilities. I know for my daughter and my husband, they do not seek the privilege you seek. They simply want to be somewhat independent and involved in their community. I can say that It stuns me that there are people playing the “I’m more disabled than you” game. Shame on them.

            And for those who confront people in a handicapped space, I do not believe that there is a legal requirement for any citizen to prove their disability, show you any placard registration documents, etc simply because you are intruding into their private business. If you doubt a person has a disability, contact the police. Now they can require a driver utilizing a handicapped parking space to support their use of such with the registration documents. And if you do, be prepared to stand there and wait for a very long time for the police to come to your aid in establishing if someone in your community is faithfully and legally using a parking spot.

        2. But you didn’t refer to depression not being a disability that qualifies for handicapped parking. You referred to depression being something that you obviously do not think is a disability at all because you said people are getting disability checks for being depressed (as if they shouldn’t get checks for depression because depression isn’t a disability). I am a psychotherapist and would like to tell you that if you don’t think mental illnesses like depression aren’t debilitating, you are sadly misinformed. Please do research on things you don’t understand before making comments that can hurt people.

    2. I have an invisible disability in that the pain is worse than any observable sign may be. By the time my feet won’t move, or I limp, the pain is such that I sit down and cry. However because I look younger than my 63 years, and I am able to get out of mycar; People have given me “the look” when I park in the handicapped spot with my legal tag on the mirror. For those who do not have physical or mental limitations, you cannot judge us until you have walked a mile in our shoes. In fact I will trade my Rheumatoid Arthritis, which causes foot, back, shoulder, hip and hand pain. The pain is severe. To be honest, I will trade with you even on my good days!
      On my good days I don’t park in a handicapped space, even though I am always in some pain, because I don’t like being limited in my function and I am not having my worst pain. I am sure folks with other disabilities will also be more than happy to trade with you and after spending a day in our shoes, you can see how much “total B.S.” It is!

    3. Considering that fraud/scam numbers are actually very low, and that numbers of entitled people harassing and assulting people who they wrongly assume are not disabled are much, much higher, i absolutely blame people who make assume strangers are not disabled. The number of able bodied people who nearly hit me with cars while loading/unloading my brother’s wheelchair give me that right.

      Also, having been through the process of getting disability because of mental health (severe ptsd and panic attacks,) i assure you that the vast majority who are getting disability for mental health conditions need it. Nobody wants to live on disability. It sucks and doesn’t really pay enough to live on. And, the bar is so high to prove mental health related disability that it’s nearly impossible.

    4. Do you know how many times i hear “but you look fine” and want to deck that person? I have an invisible disability. There are days when going to the store takes more energy than i have but because its been like that for multiple days and i need dog food for my service dog, i drsg myself to the store. I do my darndest to appear normal even if i am struggling to put one foot in front of the other. We have feelings too.

    5. With all due respect Cheryl Powell, it is not your business to assume anything about anyone. Just mind your own narrow minded business and keep being one of the reasons many people with depression would rather commit suicide than have judgeMENTAL people like yourself know they suffer from depression.

    6. Depression is a life-threatening illness, and why anybody thinks that’s not a disability, is just absurd. There is far more to being able to work than being “able-bodied”. If you’re not disabled, then you should thank God that you aren’t. I am, for physical reasons, and every day is a struggle, and as I age, the scope of my life is shrinking with every passing year. Nobody has to “prove” to a stranger that they are disabled, it’s not their business. Why do people think that they have the right to demand of a stranger to disclose their personal business? I’ve been challenged too, and the person that did, regretted it. When people tell me “You don’t look disabled” I say ” But I am. You don’t look like a rude, snoopy busybody, either, but you are. See how looks are deceiving?”

    7. With due respect, Cheryl Powell, actual rates of scam/fraud are VERY low. It happens but is a LOT more rare than most people think.

      Meanwhile, MOST disabilities are not visible. Example: heart defect, problems with breathing well, various conditions like Lupus, MS, fibro, etc. that can cause extreme pain and/or debilitating fatigue from even just standing or walking a few minutes at a time, etc. These are not visible. This list of examples is just focusing on disabilities that might create a need to park close to the store. It does not include disabilities like deafness, dyslexia, etc. that are real, but don’t impact ability to walk across a parking lot and still have the energy to go shopping. Oh, and this list of examples is not even comprehensive, there’s tons more like EDS, POTS, OI, and more.

      Result? The vast majority of the time that people badger others for faking their disability, they are almost never attacking an actually non-disabled person. Most of the time, they’re attacking a person with invisible disabilities who genuinely need the accommodation they’re using. Harassing people as a means for rooting out fraudsters? Causes more problems for disabled people than the rare fraudster does. I’ve known disabled people who are so scared of being harassed again and again by hostile people that they just don’t use accommodations they desperately need, sometimes at cost to their health and safety.

      Thus, the answer to prevent harassment of people with invisible disabilities? Is for well-intended by-standers to stop assuming that a person isn’t disabled just because they don’t look it. I don’t blame people for being wrong, but I DO blame people for refusing to learn once they are alerted to the facts of most disabilities being invisible. Just don’t harass people no matter how convinced you are that they must surely be faking their disability. Until and unless you have some kind of concrete evidence (and, no, being able to walk a few steps to the door of the store is not sufficient), just leave them be.

    8. How about complaining about ppl who park in the space without the handicap sticker…and if all the spaces r full w ppl who have passes, wait your turn or go somewhere else. Good grief. Cheryl i agree with u. Ppl do abuse the system… so theres a possibility many ppl will b cut off ssdi bcuz of those scamming the system.

  74. I love this! Not all disabilities are visible; not all disabilities are physical. I’m supposed to have a service dog for my mental illnesses & PTSD, & I’m tired of people assuming she’s a pet because I’m physically able to walk & appear fine on the outside. Im tired of people thinking my scars up & down my arms are for attention.

    This post… I love it so much! It really drives home that not everyone shows their disabilities in an obvious way, that some of us may look fine on the surface but really aren’t ok.

    Thank you.

  75. I haven’t been called out yet on parking in the handicapped places. I have peripheral neuropathy in both legs and feet and both hands from diabetes. On good days when it doesn’t feel like I am walking on broken glass or electrical currents aren’t shooting through my feet I use regular parking places and leave the disabled ones for others who need them. I can’t walk very far or for a long time, my balance is bad due to the numbness in my feet. I’m sure my day is coming when someone calls me out but it will be a bad day for them!


  77. I am disabled. I do not look disabled but I am. I am a left BK amputee. My back surgery has left me in horrific pain with no relief. I walk almost 40 degrees bent forward. My right leg just buckles whenever it wants to from the back surgery and many times I fall. There are days when I am in my Hover Round or you may see me on my walker. The really good days you will find me hunched over slowly ambulating with my cane. I did not ask for any of this. I was happily living my life as a surgeon. I went in the hospital to have my baby and I came out tge hospital almost two years later having to relearn how to do everything. My little girl had no idea who I was and she was calling my mother mommy. My surgery career ended the day I went into labor and delivery. Do not look at me and say I am not disabled because YOU do not know my story.

    1. Go to dev or have them mail an application then your Dr folks it out. You should have had your placard months ago. God bless you

  78. Luckily for me, I walk with a severe limp that I’ve had since I was 10 months old. So I’m one of the “deserving” gimps. Yet I typically do not use disabled spaces because I like being able to walk (or limp or whatever). I don’t really need the spaces. As I get older, it’s harder than it used to be, so every so often I’ll take the space. But only when I really need it. Which is hardly ever, Thank. God.

    Also, because from my own experience, I know (or at least I firmly believe) the people who take those spaces really need them, whether I can “see” their disability or not. I absolutely trust that they need those parking spaces more than I do. And I’m SO grateful for that, that’s really all that matters to me. So I leave those spaces for others, and I hardly even notice anymore whether they’re occupied when I walk by them.

    So if you see some dude with a terrible limp “struggling” through a parking lot, it’s probably me or someone like me. I’m well aware of what I look like. Heh. Don’t feel sorry for me despite how it looks to you— I’m probably happier than you are just to be able to walk to the building after parking. Because I know how rough it can be. And if you just put a little thought into it, you know too.

  79. I too often get looks when exiting my car after parking in a designated parking space. After my liver transplant 6 years ago, while in the hospital for 6 weeks, I developed neuropathy in my feet. Although they look normal. with every step I take I feel like my feet are stuffed into a size 2 shoe. I cannot take Lyrica because of the side effects. I have tried at least 6 other medications to no avail. In the end I just deal with the pain and try to walk as normally as possible, but I still get looks. The photo idea on placards is not necessary as each is registered to the disabled and not car, easily checked by police.

  80. The title caught my eye’s while I was strolling through FB and I’m glad I read it. I got injured on the job. My pain from the injury can sometimes get the best of me to the point taking my life had enter my head a few times. People look at me and say why is she in a HC spot she looking healthy to me. Example I’m coming out of CVS and there’s a man standing in back of my car checking out my plate. So when I asked him could I help him with something. He replied that I was in a HC space without a HC stickers. I said you don’t see it He when on to say it’s not on there or in my front window. So just as I was about to show it to him. The good ole boys in blue pulled up. The speak I stand there. The officer asked if this was my car I replied Yes now at this moment I had to lean against the car to keep from falling which is one if my Disability. The officer said I could sit if I needed. So he looked at my plate and sees the little blue guy on my plate, shows it to the man who called . Then the man said oh I didn’t see it then continues to say I don’t look HC. I told him neither did he but I still didn’t judge him. I was told to have a good day and was able to leave. Bcuz of my injury I could lose all feeling on my left side at any time that causing me to fall. I can barely stand bcuz of my back. So just bcuz we not in a chair or crutches don’t mean we’re not suffering from some form of handicap. Be Blessed

  81. I have 8 invisible disabilities. I am in your same position. Here is what I learned to do years ago. I tell them to go ahead & call the police. What I do not tell them, is that they will get a $500 ticket for trying to remove me. I then go about my business.

  82. I have a rare lung disease. Some days I can’t walk across the room with out my oxygen . Some days I can go out (without 02). Others I can’t. Normally if I need my Oxygen I don’t go out. So I look normal when I go out. I have been asked many times if I am disabled. I then show them my oxygen tank. It is no one business what wrong with you. If your doctor says you need one. You need one. No-one wants one. I have had one for 10 years. And wish I did not need one.

  83. To be fair to the other side, there are many able-bodied people who simply do not care and will park at disabled spaces regardless. I personally know of two, but I expect that someone who uses disabled spots will have had many more experiences than I do. I can understand the frustration of someone who cannot find a disabled spot because they are taken by people seemingly able-bodied.

    1. And how do you know these people are able bodied? Invisible disability is, by definition, not visible.

      In my experience, it is much more common that people *appear* fully abled when they are not.

    2. How do you know that they are able bodied? If they have a handicap placard or sticker, there is a good chance that they are one of those people whom this very article is referring too. I am very young-looking for my age and “appear” to be just fine, but I have a couple of illnesses which cause severe pain and overwhelming fatigue. I am not a lazy person who is just trying to get the best parking space. I would give up my placard in a millisecond if it meant that I could go back to being the energetic, pain free person that I used to be. I’m sure that most people with a disability would. A handicap placard or sticker does not make up for what you can’t see going on inside. Trust me. If someone doesn’t have a handicap sticker or placard, go ahead and ask. If they do have one, please don’t assume that they are fine.

    3. I have a power wheel chair for my mobility with a special electronic ramp that unfolds on the side. My chair will exit in the hashmarked area next to the handicap spot. Very often these hashmark areas are wide enough to take on a smaller vehicle or motorcycle. It is very frustrating when I come out of a store and realize I cannot get into my vehicle because some clown parked in the hashmsrks next to my vehicle. Happens too often and the authorities in my area do not care when trying to report it.

  84. I believe that in such an diverse society you will always have this problem with people who like to complain or have their way. I have Lupus in which I have good days and really bad days. On my good days I try to leave the handicap park for those in need. I was approach by someone because I took a regular Park that they could use when I could park in the handicap space 2 spaces over. 🤦🏽‍♀️

    I politely stated today I’m feeling fine so I’m leaving that space for someone in need. The look on their face was priceless but they understood. I’ve learned to smile through my circumstances and hope my smile’s become contagious.

  85. I have an invisible disability too. I may feel fine walking into a store but by the time i shop and wait in line, i can barely make it out to my car. I try to only shop at stores with benches or electronic carts. Very rarely do i go anywhere alone.

  86. At age 51 my Chiropractor told me to file for disability. After reviewing my latest MRI reports, my primary care physician told me I needed a new spine from the neck down. That my disease is progressive and will only get worse as I age. I have been under the care of a pain management specialist for 8 years now. I am also clinically depressed because of the pain and the fact I can’t work. This was not my plan, I devoted myself to my family. Then I was suppose to get the golden years for me. I started working at age 12, got a full time job at age 16 and joined the Air Force at age 17 six months. I have always worked or volunteered some where. Now, I am missing the me time because of genetics. But I am fighting it, some days are good. Some are horrible. I use a parking placard, sometimes I use a cane. On my bad days I use a motorized shopping cart. On more than one occasion I have had people purposely drive their push carts into the back of my MSC, jarring my back, causing me pain! Now that 2/3 of our population are retired baby boomers heading into their silver years. We need to educate the public on INVISIBLE ILLNESSES, how to be kind to each other. How to put others needs before yours. I will give up a MSC to someone else who is in greater need. That is someone’s mother, grandmother, father, grandfather. What if it were your relatives? Don’t get mad, educate! Dont think for one minute that we wouldn’t want to be walking around the zoo with you. Climbing the stairs at the library or museum. Or bike riding, or hiking, or camping…., my neuropathy can make it impossible for me to sit and watch television or just hold my phone. No one wishes to live like this!

  87. I’m an ex military diver, 100% disabled vet. I was involved in two underwater explosions. Due to the TBI, I have epilepsy, migraine headaches, PTSD and constant pain issues. I have had one knee replacement and am facing knee replacement, surgeries on neck, shoulder, back and hip. None of my issues are visible. Some make movement very difficult.

    The other day, I pulled in, put my sign up. Got out and a lady followed me into the store. (Later, I was told she was taking pictures.) I got a mobility scooter to do my shopping.

    As I was shopping, I noticed her a few times. I didn’t pay attention to her. Did my thing. A couple times, I got out of the chair to get items. Anyway, I got a sammie, chips n drink at an instore restaurant. I sat and ate it.

    When I returned to the car, she was standing next to it, talking to a policeman. I came rolling up on the scooter to hear her say, “he’s obviously not disabled. I mean, he was walking around, getting items. My son uses a wheelchair and I’m tired of these fakes using resources that they aren’t entitled to. He needs to get a ticket.!”

    The cop looks up, sees me and comes to talk to me. Dragon lady is full tilt boogie now, almost foaming at the mouth. The cop checks my paperwork. I show him my government id and even some paperwork i had that was from the VA explaining my history in dealing with the issues. The cop helped me load my purchases and says he’s sorry for the inconvenience.

    The lady then accused me of forgery. That i was a leech on society and…..about that time, the cop stepped up. Told her that she was out of line. She kept the shit up. As I backed out, she was in handcuffs, being put in the patrol car. Can’t say I was sorry.

    A couple days later, same store, same lady, pushing son in wheelchair. With husband….she said something to her husband, he later came over and apologized for her behavior.

    1. I go through this as well. I have nerve damage in my foot and leg. 99% of the time, I use my walker. However, in large crowds and when shopping, I feel much more secure in my wheelchair because it’s not as big of a risk of being knocked down or falling, and it’s a good idea to have both hands free.

      So, I’m fully able to stand up and reach for things. Oh, but I’m soooo faking because the world is soooo accommodating to people in wheelchairs. 🙄

  88. I assume this person does display a placard which is the law in Canada. After all the police won’t know if the person has a permit to park there or not.

  89. I wish that handicapped placards would be mandated to include a picture of the person who it was granted to.

    That would stop the borrow-Grandma’s-placard abusers AND the confronters.

      1. Only on the hanger from the rear view mirror it lists name and DOB, not on handicapped license plates. However, Georgia does show handicap on vehicle registration card if you have a handicapped license plate so police can verify if you are ever challenged on your handicapped status.

  90. This sounds like it was written by someone who feels guilty and is trying to justify their choices. If you can walk to a pharmacy why are you parking in a wheelchair spot? I’m sick of people like this hogging all of the wheelchair spots and even parking in the loading ramp spot when I need a spot for the two people in wheelchairs in my van. If you have an “invisible disability” and can visible walk just fine stay the hell out of wheelchair parking!

    1. Well, there is obviously disabilities that do not require a wheelchair. Do you honestly think that only disabilities that require a wheelchair are the most important?? I have a disability that does not require a wheelchair at this time but will in the future. I am not able to walk far, therefore I have a disability placard. People like you are selfish and can’t see the big picture.

      1. I totally agree I am in a chair now but for years I walked and got told off all the time. My first stroke happened at 21. For years people tried to tell me I was too young to park in barrier free . I finally gave up and started asking where they got their medical degree.

    2. You probably need to turn that down a notch. Just because you see me walking to the pharmacy doesn’t mean I am not in pain. You mind you business and I will mind mine. Thank you.You cannot dictate how a person should look to be handicapped.

    3. I have severe acute asthma. On some days I can’t walk across the parking lot without getting an asthma attack and ending up in the hospital. My legs work but my lungs do not. I have every right to use my handicapped placard it’s a matter of life or death for me at times

    4. I can walk but I can’t walk f’ing far enough to make it through the store and parking lot without damaging my nerves and feeling like I’m being stabbed continiously for a week. If handicapped parking isn’t open it’s the difference between me getting food or not. I will absolutely park in the open spots so I can not starve to death. Even getting to the store is an excruciating choice because sitting is painful on my damaged nerves. You want to buy me a reclining wherlchair? A van that can move it? Ramps? A house it can fit in? F-you, you garbage piece of crap If you want to berate someone do it at the store and city for not providing enough spaces, instead you’re attacking people who have no other damn support system. I hope you suffer the same fate one day so you know exactly what you said here.

    5. Taking shots at disabled people is cheap and easy. The obvious answer is that there needs to be more disabled spots and better services for disabled people, but confronting politicians on this is too difficult for you, so you take it out on the disabled people who need the services. It sounds like you are the one feeling guilty. Maybe you voted for someone who consequently cut funding for disability services, or maybe you didn’t vote at all. I could just as easily say that people in wheelchairs aren’t in any pain and don’t have as much trouble as I do covering longer distances, but I’m not that ignorant.

    6. I don’t get your comment about “feels guilty”. I didn’t hear that at all. But you do make somewhat of a point about the wheelchairs. I am not in one yet and I pray I never will be but I can only imagine how difficult it must be in your situation. However, imagine this if you will…..if you parked a little further back where there are double spaces available, please by all means take up 2 spaces. This means the people in the wheelchairs that can ROLL further than the woman/man walking with the pain can park closer. Because let me tell you. The days I am in such excruciating pain but still must go to the store, I have no one to do it for me, and a person were to tell me to not park in a spot because I “don’t look disabled” i would have the words like a sailor and tell them off up one side and down the other. I would hate to be them. It’s not my choice that I have what I have, like many others, but we try to get along. So please take your sourpuss attitude elsewhere.

    7. You need think about others yourself!!! My husband can walk but has parkinsons and it is difficult for him after shopping for awhile. He loses his breath and has to sit down a lot. Wheelchairs are NOT the only handicap people deal with!!!

    8. I understand the frustration as I have seen times where there are no handicapped spots…To me it is not because of the people who parked there so much as the store for not having enough designated spots….it is very difficult when you need that spot (either for a wheelchair or mobility issues)…I have a wheelchair and can not walk or stand far…on a day I have my wheelchair and someone to lift it it is easier for me to park farther than it would be for me on days I’m trying to walk the short distance into the store to get a motorized cart….I do understand your frustration…you need the spot for the access area/a ramp…not having enough spots affects us all and should be addressed to the store…if we take our frustration maybe we can together make a difference ❤️

    9. I can understand your frustration at needing a reserved spot and one not being available; I’ve experienced that at times, myself. When I am made to park in a distant spot at the pharmacy, by the time I’m at the desk, if I’m not using my rollator, I sometimes have to squat onto the floor to avoid passing out. It’s so scary and embarrassing! And when the bones in my feet start to shift around or my hip or knee pops out of place, the pain is blinding. I’m thankful my doctor helped me get my handicapped parking placard! I qualify by law under two different serious medical conditions without a wheelchair (those are just symbols for the signs, not an explanation of qualifications for the placard).

      And Im tempted to be angry when the reserved spots were filled, I can’t let myself go there. It’s just added grief I don’t need to carry.

      You sound like someone who cares very much about the two people in wheelchairs in your van. You probably advocate very strongly for them. I know that can get exhausting, as my children have the same condition I do and I advocate for them.

      From one caregiver to another, I would urge you to invest your energies into positive things and to not displace your anger. You’re mad at the disability that necessitated the chairs, a situation over which you have no control, not the people parking in the spots – it’s just easier to be mad at them because you imagine they have it easier and are taking advantage and taking from you when you’ve already had so much taken away. It hurts. But please know that assumptions are often wrong and your displaced anger could end up hurting someone else who is already suffering, as well.

    10. How dare you! People with hidden disabilities have good days and bad days. Many times on a good day they will park in a non handicap spot leaving the handicap space open for another in need. On a not so good day they need the space themselves and you dare to judge them. Shame on you! Being in a wheel chair doesn’t mean your in worse shape than a non wheel chair person! You need to educate yourself about disabilities and on the ADA laws.
      Karma is gonna get you.
      I’ve told my grandson if anyone ever gives him another problem because he’s parked in a handicap space to just call the police let the police deal with the ignorant people! (And don’t forget to take a picture of their lic. Plate.

    11. You clearly know nothing about invisible disabilities. Just because someone can walk into a store doesn’t mean that 15 minutes or an hour later they won’t be in so much pain that they can barely make it to their car if at all if it were parked in a further away spot. The writer isn’t trying to “justify” anything or feeling guilty, she’s responding to cruel people like you who don’t understand that not all disabilities are visible.

    12. It’s not up to you, Gwendolyn, to decide who can and can’t park in disabled parking. The world does not revolve around you.



    14. Gwendolyn, it is not “wheelchair parking”. The symbol is known and accepted worldwide as the “International Symbol of Access” (ISA) and is used for more than parking spaces.

      Some specific uses of the ISA include:

      Marking a parking space reserved for vehicles used by people with disabilities/blue badge holders
      Marking a vehicle used by a person with a disability, often for permission to use a space
      Marking a public lavatory with accessible facilities
      Indicating a button to activate an automatic door
      Indicating an accessible transit station or vehicle
      Indicating a transit route that uses accessible vehicles

      Nowhere is it indicated (or expected) to be used for access for those only in wheelchairs but for anyone who has been determined to need special access. That determination is made by a doctor, not you. Do you also yell at the person who is in the handicapped stall in the bathroom?

    15. The International Symbol of Access uses a wheelchair to represent disabilities in general. It does NOT mean that people in wheelchairs are the only ones who can use those accommodations.

  91. With invisible disability, there is also degree. Ihave foot pain if I walk for extended periods of time. When I have to do a lot of walking inside and there is a large parking lot, I use my tag. If it’s a small lot and/or not a lot of walking inside, I don’t use it. Think Coliseum for sports event vs. going into a post office to pick up mail. I need the tag for the large event and still come home in pain. The post office trip is just fine. I evaluate each situation and don’t use up my steps in the parking lot.

  92. You are ridiculous. The wheelchair is a symbol for handicapped (some people can’t read). Using a wheelchair is NOT a requirement for the handicap parking permit… READ THE FORM the doctor is required to fill out.
    Like many other disabled people, I can walk but only short distances and some days not even that.
    I refuse to stay home, suffer or risk injury because you are judgmental!!!!
    Just because you can’t see the progressive debilitating diseases inside another’s body doesn’t mean it’s not there. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
    When the time comes that I need a wheelchair or caretaker to go to the doctor, pharmacy or wherever I choose then I’ll get one, but I choose to be independent as long as possible.
    I resisted the permit until I needed it, same as I resisted the cane, I didn’t want them but they are necessary. I will resist a wheelchair as long as possible and until then, I will continue to park in the spaces reserved for people like myself. My niece never walked a day in her life, she was never jealous or judgmental of people who can. Get over yourself.

    1. DJ, I’m like you. The doctors told me 10 years ago I was headed for a wheelchair, and I’ve fought that every day since. I am determined to be independent as long as possible. I do as much for myself as I can, and that includes going out in public even when I’m in terrible pain. I don’t owe strangers an explanation of what my disabilities are or why I have a placard. And when I go places, and the disabled spots are full, sometimes I find another spot close by, and sometimes I just go home and try again later.

  93. AMEN! My disability is just like yours (lower back pain). I know I get some nasty looks. It’s really sad when people assume that there is nothing wrong with you. I would MUCH rather live a life without pain. I HATE not being able to do the things I used to do (and like). I’m praying that Social Security Disability gives me a favorable decision. It’s been tough on my husband without me working.

    1. I can empathize with you about back pain. I have already had 6 back surgeries and that’s not the end of it. Unfortunately I have to work, in pain yes, because there isn’t anyone to support me but me. Count your blessings you have someone. I applied but I was denied due to the hours a do work.

  94. Omg people are so ignorant. Yes I’d rather park n walk a mile to the door of the store, with no pain, than to park at the front door with terrible pain.
    There r so many types of disabilities, people, think b4 you speak, best of all, dont speak.

  95. This is why I started the petition. We need a handicap placard that will identify with invisible diseases and disabilities. I am taking this all thr way to the Supreme Court. And then globally.

    1. Katie H- I feel the opposite. Why should random people know my medical history? Besides, if they are going to judge, they will. Then it will be some remark about having it not as bad as someone they know, so I shouldn’t park there. Or I must be having a good day, so I shouldn’t use the space. What are you thinking to put on there? There are literally hundreds of invisible illnesses. Most are things people never heard of, or have no clue what it can do.
      I have RA. People hear only arthritis. It isn’t. I also have OA, which is what they are thinking of. They think oh, their knee hurts, so they have it too, yet no one gave them a card.
      The judgement will always be there.
      As a disabled person, I would not support it. If it’s an optional thing, fine, to each his own. If it’s required, I will actively fight it.

  96. Although I have never been approached by anyone demanding to see my handicap, that I do crazy things like park in a regular spot and go into a store walk around for more than say 20 mins and end up walking out very slowly in pain because I can’t walk for long periods or lift more than 10 pounds, sit up for long without needing to lay down, But because I don’t look disabled I sometimes forget I am because I’m too busy trying to keep people from saying anything to me that I do stupid things like won’t use the scooter’s in the stores or order one for personal use so I just don’t go places that require too much of me, and because I’ve been this way since I was 32 and if you don’t know me you wouldn’t be able to look at me and tell unless I’m in pain at that moment. I just wanted to say thank you to the person that wrote that post. It would be great if we had something that let people know by looking at us that we are disabled too you just can’t see it

  97. It is not ok to question your service dog or your
    Handicap. People are just to focused on themselves to be empathetic. My mother died from ALS so I know all about the wheelchair. My guy has a plate in his neck but doesn’t look disabled. When I’m not with him I don’t use the handicap parking. I do not question anyone’s dogs or disability. It’s rude and insensitive.

  98. My father had both his hips replaced in the mid-seventies due to his time in the military. Now that he us in his 70s and looking forwards to replacement number 8, nobody bothers him about his handicapped plates, but it was tough 30 some odd years ago to have to go through is a shame the entitled jerks are still making life miserable for those that already have a hard time in life.

    My father’s favourite AH move? He lived to park in the regular spots next to the handicapped ones, just to annoy the able bodied.

  99. AMEN! World Without End. I’ve experienced this my entire life. My Crisis of Belonging started in my mother’s womb. I started out with spasticity and hearing problems and have ended up with those plus severe back pain and problems with one of my eyeballs. But if somebody saw me get up from a wheelchair they might notice a slight limp and nothing else. Yep, I have these things and I just do what I can. I make the accommodations that I can make myself and request the others that are available. I think we should not judge what’s going on. If people have those placards, they have to go through a lot to get them. They don’t hand those things out to just anyone.

    Thank you for this.

  100. My son has cerebral palsy and when he was young, I put him in a stroller so he looked like every other young child. I can’t tell you how many ignorant people questioned me about my son’s handicapped placard.

  101. This has happened to me often with my son with epilepsy and autism in the car! One woman actually left a sign on my windshield telling that I was faking disabled. Really? Come live in my world and stop judging people. Find compassion.
    I felt like I was on a TV Show or something.

    1. Well unless the disability effect the person ability to walk then people should not use the handicapped parking. You can be disabled but that does not mean you should park there if you have no issues with walking. .

      1. Well, Jennifer, I’m sorry that is not how it works, and, as I said to Byron, are you a medical expert? Do you know how different disabilities affect the body? Have you read the other comments on this page regarding the disabilities people have especially the invisible disabilities. You are very ignorant to assume that you know who should be able to park in a handicap spot.

      2. @Jenifer: To look at me walking through a parking lot, you would believe I was in horrible pain. But I’m so over it. I treasure every step. Because I know what it’s like not to be able to walk. In all my sixty-five years, I challenged only one person for their parking choice, and that was because he was a young, fit, post adolescent whose car had no handicap authorization markings. Well, it turns out he was a recovering gunshot wound patient. His doctor did not offer him a placard, even a temporary one. And he never thought to ask for one… until that day in that full parking lot.

        Look. People are not criminals because they park in a particular space. I’m not saying that disabled people and those who love them should be doormats, but we all need to take a step back and evaluate our behavior as stringently as we judge others. Believe me, the relief from the stress is worth it all by itself.

      3. Jennifer-hope to
        god you never get spinal stenosis, herniated cervical spine and lumbar spine discs, osteoporosis or take a long term aromatase inhibitor first breast cancer. I can be fine and 10 minutes later be in terrific pain. You are a judgmental twatwaffle and have no idea of what pain is like. I would be very happy to never have pain again. I’m on the max dose of gabapentin and muscle relaxer along with pain meds. I take these meds so I can work and support myself and you don’t have to support me. The least you can do is get over yourself and your prissy ways. I could be very well happy to
        Sit on my bum at home at you support me. So don’t say squat about my using the handicap space.

      4. You are a Physician? You pay me disability? You support me? If not-Shut your trap. I have herniated spine discs, spinal stenosis, osteoporosis and ok aromatase inhibitors for cancer. I can be fine 1 minute and then 20 later I’m in terrible pain. I never know when or how bad things will be. So don’t you worry your busy little bum about me or anyone else.
        You should be ashamed of yourself.

      5. Jennifer you’re ill informed. Disability parking is for people who need the access it grants. That DOESN’T mean they have to be in a chair.

    2. I have a Chiari had part of my brain removed , hydrocephalus so I have a shunt to try and regulate my spinal fluid pressure . I have epilepsy and for no rhyme or reason can be hit with a seizure at anytime . Can’t seem to find meds to control them. I have a syrinx in my spinal cord in the center of my back. I had the backs of the cervical bones removed in my neck to allow more room in my spinal column and now I have a plate and screws in my cervical spine because my spine is degenerating at a rapid speed .
      I would give anything to go back to just the migraines I used to have when no one could figure out what was wrong with me at 13,20’s, 30’s and finally diagnosed at 39. I am a wife of 23 years I have four children all older now and I had a career and friends and independence .
      I would gladly trade my disabilities to have a “normal” life . I would rather walk from the back of the parking lot and not walk in pain knowing it’s the only time I have been out all month other than when I go to the doctors . I want to walk through the zoo with my family and not rent an electric cart because we don’t know when a seizure will hit and I can’t fall and hit the back of my head off the pavement I had part of my skull and brain removed . No I have to sit down and have people stare at this woman who gets her hair done pretty , looks 35 not 45 and I do my makeup all pretty and put on my nice clothes and I guess I should look more like I can’t use a comb a makeup brush and wear ripped sweat pants and orthopedic shoes and have food spilled down my shirt .
      People need to get their heads out from under a rock I have clothes on and my hair grew back so you can’t see all my scars . You can’t see my body breaking down inside or the pain I go through daily and don’t worry 😉 being disabled doesn’t mean you get pain meds either . If a pain Dr. had to walk a day in my shoes he’d apologize and come up with a way to at least help me wake up and not have tears roll out of my eyes without ever moving a finger . It hurts just to be awake . It’s sad when your only escape from pain is when you finally get to sleep. I will gladly trade my shitty disability check that’s made me see my husband less because he has to work more to make up for what “we “ used to make and it’s not to pay for vacations it’s to pay for surgeries . We don’t get to go on vacation there’s no money left and we don’t live beyond our means. I would gladly trade my handicap tag to have my life back and know I’ll still be here to see my daughter graduate from high school , my children get married and maybe one day grandchildren but right now I don’t know that and neither do the Doctors .

    3. This is true. I am disabled. I can walk for very short distances. I do park in handicap when regular spaces close are not available. I have to ride thru store with scooter. It is very embarrassing to me, then to have people stare or ask if they could use this scooter they are really handicapped. It’s hard for me to be polite just because I dont limp or moan when I walk. I have back issues causing me pain and I fall alot. Pain when walking distance a have MS balancing problems I have neurophy so bad my feet and legs feel like electricity running thru them all the time. I try hard to put on a happy painless face to appear normal so back the f***k off. Mind your own business. I am not a heartless person I would never use a handicap space if not needed and who the hell are you to police this.

  102. I think that YOU are completely ridiculous.

    Just because you cannot see several of a persons disabilities does not mean that they are not disabled.

    I have several cardiac issues that prevent me from doing anything strenuous, along with degenerative joint disease that makes life quite painful and doctors will no longer prescribe pain meds to keep the pain at bay,, AND a veteran with several mental issues, including PTSD. I have a service dog, that I also catch flack for from the uneducated such as yourself. I get “Oh there’s nothing wrong with you, you look totally fine and able to things, thats a fake service dog”.

    Yes, I DO park in the handicapped parking, placard displayed, I DO have my service dog with me at all times, and 90% of the time, when I get into the store, and get a cart, I have to take time to catch my breath. My wife is also disabled and in worse condition than I, ergo, if we want to eat, I have to do the shopping, by myself, with no assistance, as none is available to me.

    Granted, I am ambulatory, but only to a certian extent, then I require time to rest, otherwise, there could be a medical emergency requiring EMS to respond for a heart attack.

    It too pisses me off to see someone park in the stripped ramp zone even though I don’t require that yet (the ramp).. It is also upsetting to me to se someone parked in a handicap parking spot without the plate/placard, and I say something to the business about it.

    It sadens me to see posts like yours that, just because you’re wheelchair bound, you believe that the world owes you everything, and that if a person is NOT as disabled as yourself then obviously, they’re not disabled, faking it, and just “working the system”. Anyone who has had to go through the Social Security interrogation tactics to get approved to receive their (paid into through employment) disability benefits, AND had their doctor (who also was involved with the whole SSDI bullshit right along with you) fill out the state required form to receive a handicap placard/plate, then YES (a resounding yes), they deserve their placard.
    You should be ashamed of yourself for thinking that YOU AND YOU ALONE are entitled to the right to park in a handicapped spot and that the rest of us are able-bodied people who are nothing more than lazy slobs that could care less about those that are whelchair bound.

  103. At one time I came out of the store with my son in his wheelchair but someone had parked in the striped line spot which is right next to the wheelchair spot. I couldn’t get the ramp down because the car was blocking access to the ramp in my van. I had to call the police. It was very upsetting to both my son and I. So people, please respect the handicapped and the law. Don’t take your good health for granted.

      1. The other person was in violation of the law. She did indeed need to call the police. The other person needed to get a hefty fine. Go troll elsewhere, jerkwad.

      2. @Jerry: I personally hope the car parked in the gore point blocking the handicapped van was towed and its “driver” had to find a way to the impound yard, pay a lot of fines and impound charges then found out they had other unpaid parking tickets (some of which had bench warrants out for them) further blocking the recovery of his/her vehicle; then loses their job because they couldn’t find a way to work; and they wind up having to pay thousands of dollars to recover their crappy $800 car.

        Then, I wish for them that after they finally do get their vehicle back, the transmission drops out of it on a rainy day while they are on a farm road in the middle of nowhere.

        And in order for all of that to happen? Yeah, the victims really DID need to call the police.

      3. I damage cars that are in the hashed areas….not intentional but my new Subaru has tons of scratches from my chair. I cannot get into my car to move it back 10 feet because I am paralyzed from the waste down. I even knocked a motorcycle over once and he not only got a ticket but had to pay for his own damages. There is risk involved when you park in the hashed spaces and like it or not, the law covers the wheelchair user. I do call the police and ensure they get their deserved tickets. I don’t think you all understand the laws in your state. You have to have a mobility issue to park there no matter what invisible illness folks dream up themselves.

  104. Happens everywhere all the time. I can’t pick stuff up off the floor, I can’t walk far without pain and I definitely don’t lift anything heavy. Men are usually the ones questioning my disability. None of their business. And if your doctor signs your application for Disability Parking, you deserve it

  105. I have a brain injury. I need the extra room, because I need to open the door wide to get in and out off the car, many times if there is a spot that allows extra room we use that instead.

  106. Amen! I’ve actually told someone who commented about parking my car in handicapped parking – even though I had a handicap placard hanging in my car- “I will gladly trade places with you so YOU can park in a handicap parking spot! If we could trade places, I’d be thrilled to park a mile away and walk!” She did not say another word! 😁

  107. This article is absolutely ridiculous, furthermore completely inaccurate, it’s nothing more than another person acting entitled, trying to justify their ignorance and their laziness. If you are capable of walking, you should then park in a normal car park and leave the space for someone in a wheelchair! It’s a picture of a person in a wheel chair for a reason, it is needed for someone in a chair. What you do not understand is that, if there is no disability car park because someone who is capable of walking has parked in it – potentially blocking a ramp, we then have to find a parking in normal park, try and open the doors to get the chairs out etc, all while blocking traffic and running the risk of someone driving/backing into us. You see there are reasons there are so many parking vigilante’s out there, because on more than a dozen occasions in the past year we have caught multiple (non disabled) people parking in a wheelchair car park, who we have called out – the same bullshit excuses get used time and time again. So from now on, it is easier to assume that if someone doesn’t have a wheelchair or a carer with them, they are not disabled. You see the unfortunate matter of this all is – there are plenty of people who claim to have a disability in order to claim government benefits, so why not act the part and park in a disabled spot? Thats bullshit!! If you can walk go and park in a normal car park, because if you are that disabled that you can’t and everything hurts, you should not be at the shops / shopping centre without assistance!!! If you want to justify parking in a disabled spot, justify your “disability” to someone who is significantly disabled, someone in a wheelchair. Don’t be lazy!

    1. I think that YOU are completely ridiculous.

      Just because you cannot see several of a persons disabilities does not mean that they are not disabled.

      I have several cardiac issues that prevent me from doing anything strenuous, along with degenerative joint disease that makes life quite painful and doctors will no longer prescribe pain meds to keep the pain at bay,, AND a veteran with several mental issues, including PTSD. I have a service dog, that I also catch flack for from the uneducated such as yourself. I get “Oh there’s nothing wrong with you, you look totally fine and able to things, thats a fake service dog”.

      Yes, I DO park in the handicapped parking, placard displayed, I DO have my service dog with me at all times, and 90% of the time, when I get into the store, and get a cart, I have to take time to catch my breath. My wife is also disabled and in worse condition than I, ergo, if we want to eat, I have to do the shopping, by myself, with no assistance, as none is available to me.

      Granted, I am ambulatory, but only to a certian extent, then I require time to rest, otherwise, there could be a medical emergency requiring EMS to respond for a heart attack.

      It too pisses me off to see someone park in the stripped ramp zone even though I don’t require that yet (the ramp).. It is also upsetting to me to se someone parked in a handicap parking spot without the plate/placard, and I say something to the business about it.

      It sadens me to see posts like yours that, just because you’re wheelchair bound, you believe that the world owes you everything, and that if a person is NOT as disabled as yourself then obviously, they’re not disabled, faking it, and just “working the system”. Anyone who has had to go through the Social Security interrogation tactics to get approved to receive their (paid into through employment) disability benefits, AND had their doctor (who also was involved with the whole SSDI bullshit right along with you) fill out the state required form to receive a handicap placard/plate, then YES (a resounding yes), they deserve their placard.
      You should be ashamed of yourself for thinking that YOU AND YOU ALONE are entitled to the right to park in a handicapped spot and that the rest of us are able-bodied people who are nothing more than lazy slobs that could care less about those that are whelchair bound.

      1. @Byron: As hard as it is, I’ll try not to comment on your attitude. Just want to chime in here— right after I was released from the hospital for my cardiac bypass, I developed what they called a “pulmonary embolism”. That’s a blood clot that formed in my artery and managed to travel to my frickin’ LUNG.

        LOL, one day I came home and parked in my slightly inclined driveway. I found out I had this “embolism” by trying to walk from the car to the garage. I got no more than three steps before I was on my knees gasping for breath, ready to pass right out. Doctors said I could have died. It took several months of blood thinners before I recovered. I didn’t get out to drive very much, but when I did you can bet your last thin dime it was absolutely necessary.

        Now I know you are not talking about cases like mine. But here’s the thing: you don’t know who’s a fake and who isn’t. You’re probably just like anyone else… you have suspicions. But suspicions are not facts. So accusing every other placard-equipped car isn’t very smart, and might actually backfire on you. If so, I would not want to be around for the occasion.

    2. Has nothing to do with being lazy! Many of us have disabilities that are invisible to others. Your stupidity may be invisible, but it’s showing up well in your ignorant post!

    3. Are you serious!!!! I would love for you to approach my husband with that attitude I would rip you apart.

      If someone has a handicap tag they have every right to park in a handicap spot. Who made you a medical expert who can make decisions for people you don’t even know. My husband has 4, yes I said 4 brain injuries that he got while serving in the military. In addition, he has mobility problems from brain injuries, he had to learn to walk and talk again he also has a host of other issues that I’m not listing. He generally ignores ass holes like YOU but once someone like you came up to him spouting he’s not in a wheelchair etc. He responded very nicely “Excuse me do we know each other? Do you know what I have been through in the course of serving my country? I am disabled so you can enjoy your freedom which allows you to attack people you don’t know about disabilities you know nothing about.” My husband IS seriously disabled but in your eyes, he is fine, funny because the Military and the VA have him at a 100% percent disability rating.

      I have commented to people walking away from their car parked in a handicap post do you have a handicap placard? You know that is handicap parking. I have confronted people using the handicap spot as a waiting spot while someone is in a store. But is someone has their placard displayed or a handicap license plate that IS NOT YOURS TO QUESTION!!!

      There is nothing inaccurate about this story you should do your homework before you spout shit, you are the one who is ignorant.

      My husband has a service dog too I guess you know all the laws about service dogs too!

      1. You are spot on Christina, I’m still battling with the VA to get my rating, and have been for over 40 years. This putz, Byron feels that he IS the disability God, and you’re proright about him being a know-it-all on the ADA regulations for service dogs.

        I am constantly bombarded by the uneducated (RE: service animals), and attempt to explain the laws when it comes to our service dogs. Some thank me for educating them, and some just , well, you can’t fix stupidity.
        All the best to you and your husband, and continued progress on his healing.

      2. Firstly to all of the bogans who thought I would waste my time to speak with you directly, you’re mistaken. I actually understand why you have become so upset! I understand that you are possibly the ones who are exploiting the system. You have been given approval to park in a DISABLED spot, given a permit which on all accounts has been given out way to freely. The ones who have taken such offence to my post, I bet that you are the ones who are capable of walking where others can’t! You know yourself deep down that you don’t fall in the same category as someone who has not other option than to park in a spot they actually need, so you feel the need to justify your ignorance.

        At the end of the day, do what ever it is that makes you feel better, just know that if I do see you park in spot where I see you fit enough to walk, invisible or not – no matter if you like it or not, I will still tell you that the particular parking space you have parked in, is in fact a disability carpark!! You can then tell me whatever it is you like, I’m all ears!

        Secondly referring to ANYONE as handicapped makes you by default uneducated and ignorant and you should DEFINITELY not have been given a DISABILITY parking permit. Furthermore if you have been waiting for a period of time to receive a parking permit, there is generally a reason you are waiting.

        Lastly I have been asked multiple times what makes me a medical expert on disabilities etc etc? Well, where do I start.. During my years studying I worked as a carer for multiple families who’s disabilities included – Parkinson’s, CP, MS, SB, Quadriplegia the list goes on and happens to be quite extensive. Fortunately I now get to monitor and treat their ailments. I am a medical practitioner and happen to specialise in MND.
        I am more than happy to educate on what is DISABLING and what is a DISABILITY, two very different meanings and divided topics.

        I am passionate about such issues as I have family that are critical care quadriplegics, over my my time I have witnessed too many people taking advantage of a system which is deluded. I have tons of compassion and I as many of you have mentioned, I wouldn’t know what it is like to live with a ailment which is disabling, you are correct! however in my time I have seen first hand people doing whatever they can to claim benefits they are NOT entitled to.
        @kevin576 @Terri’s Husband

        1. Byron, just bcuz u have been around ppl w disabilities, and have some so called medical knowledge doea not mean u can fully comprehend what a disabled person goes thru, just to make it thru the damn day, so unless u have walked a mile in there shoes u can not fully understand it. From what u sd u basically have empathy for what u see 1st hand, and no empathy for something invisible that u cnt see. Such a low blow. U have no right to discriminate against anyone because of their disability (working in medical u ought to know thats against the law) and grounds for civil rights to be called, grounds for termination, and grounds for a lawsuit. Yes, there r scammers out there, but that dnt mean everyone. Or r u also a private investgator as well. Cuz i can see the brown nose stuff on ur face. Imma park where i feel its good 4 me to park. And if u dnt like it, i dnt care and if u wanna talk smack about it imma call the police on u for harrassment. And thats what any1 with a legal sticker should do, regardless what is there disability (cuz its none of our damn business) and u can shove that wherever u like,

        2. Caring for people with disabilities does not make you a medical expert qualified to assess what is and isn’t an eligible condition for a disabled parking permit. The doctors decide that. If you think they’re giving placards out too freely, go take it up with them. In the meantime, the people who have those placards have the only proof that you have any right to demand.

          Also, your comments alone prove that you do not, in fact, have “tons of compassion”.

          “I actually understand why you have become so upset!”

          Clearly you do not.

          “The ones who have taken such offence to my post, I bet that you are the ones who are capable of walking where others can’t!”

          As they’ve already explained to you, the fact that they can walk does not mean they’re not disabled or that they don’t need that space.

          “You know yourself deep down that you don’t fall in the same category as someone who has not other option than to park in a spot they actually need, so you feel the need to justify your ignorance.”

          The only one who is displaying any ignorance here is you.

    4. An example that the extreme prejudice against invisible disabilies exists, even and especially from wheelchair users who feel entitled to displace fellow suffers, rating their need more important than others while simultaneously claiming their superior diagnostic skills by sight determining disability. Instead of fighting for true rights for the disabled, like increasing access and number of spots, you whine about other’s limitations, accuse them of lying and scaming the government, then claim your superior rights. It’s a shameful, prejudicial, ableist attitude.

    5. First of all to get a handicapped parking your doctor has to fill out the form..Doctors are not going to do that unless you meet the standards. It seem like you think the parking should only be for you because you use a wheelchair. However I know plenty of people who are in wheelchairs and have no problems pushing themselves across a parking lot. If your can wheel yourself around the store then you can do it in the parking lot. Basically I am using the same excuse you use on others. Need more space there is usually more spaces further out where you have plenty of room. Then your arms would get more exercise. basically I just taken what you said and applied to you. Doesn’t sound to nice does it?

    6. Sorry life has been so tough on you but you missed the entire point of the article. Just because one can walk without assistance doesn’t mean they don’t have a disability. What about the person who has heart trouble and can’t walk long distances? Or person has had a stroke and has muscle weakness? These are rights for people with disabilities not just those who are in a chair. You aren’t the only disability that matters.

      1. You are 100% on point Itsme. If you were to look at me you wouldn’t see a visible disability. You also wouldn’t see that I had multiple strokes on both sides of my brain at the age of 34. The strokes were caused by a medication given to me in the hospital to treat the neuromuscular disease that I have that causes muscle weakness. I had to learn to walk, talk and breathe again. I was intubated with a tracheostomy and had a feeding tube both of which remained in place for months. I will have the neuromuscular disease and residual stroke damage for the rest of my life. I was determined to not remain in a wheelchair so I worked my ass off to accomplish that. So, while I do not require a wheelchair I am not able to walk long distances and my doctor-approved placard allows me to participate in life. I am not being “lazy”, “ignorant”, or “entitled” as Byron says. I am exercising my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    7. Seriously? You need a reality check. I don’t want to be in pain 24/7, and would gladly NOT have my placard to NOT be in pain. So you’re saying that because I’m in pain 24/7 that I shouldn’t be able to go out? Gee, thanks. There are MANY times I cannot use handicapped parking because it is full. I’m sure there are people who take advantage of the disability benefits. Which makes it more difficult for others who need them to get them. I hope that you NEVER have to deal with anything like this.

    8. I totally agree. I constantly see people parked in a handicapped space walk through a mall shopping, maneuver a theater, walk their DOG all around a park, walk into a church service cross crossing Hugh areas to talk to people … a healthy driver dropping someone off then parking in a handicapped spot and then picking the handicapped person up at the door. If my husband drops me off at the entrance of anywhere, he wouldn’t dream of parking in a handicap spot and the list goes on. Don’t get me started on handicap bathroom stalls. It’s shameful.

    9. I have a terminal RARE illness – called Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. My end game is lung transplant or double lung heart transplant – UNLESS I die of heart failure first. Please, tell me again how I shouldn’t be in the shops? Do groceries magically appear? I make to much to get an AID – so is some sort of fairy godmother going to do my shopping for me? Did you take those people to a doctor – and find out they are not disabled? It isn’t up to ME to EXPLAIN my illness in PUBLIC to people like YOU. Period!

    10. So when did you get your degree in heart and lung disease, internal medicine, neurology, and orthopaedics. You also appear to know little to nothing about what it takes for people to obtain a parking pass.

      Here’s great advice: if you suspect someone is parking illegally, go call the police. Do not bother someone and risk – as in several cases that I know of – upsetting someone and triggering their PTSD because you cannot “see” their disability. It’s really none of your business.

    11. You think you know it all where it’s with you don’t know anything at all. How dare you criticize someone’s invisible illness calling them lazy because there is no visible apparatus. There is a main keyword in there somewhere and oh what would that word be (snaps fingers) INVISIBLE! Apparently there is some wrong if that person’s doctor filled the paperwork for that person to get one. They just don’t give out handicap plates/placard like it’s candy. Like the old saying goes “God Bless the Child that Got His Own,” so if a person that doesn’t have a visible apparatus that is disable or maybe been in a car accident and have a placard are able to drive to go shopping and run errands round of applause, kudos to them because that is no where near being lazy. That’s independence. Sounds like to me your lazy @ss is just jealous because you aren’t able to get one. So I guess you can only have a service animal unless you blind or deaf huh? There’s also another saying too that DEFINITELY applies to you “Think before you speak.” Oh wait it’s a little to late for that. Jerk

    12. Doctors determine who need the permit not people who are against them. Many of us if we walk too much will fall or be in acute pain. You are not the person in question so you don’t know what they are dealing with. Some of us have multiple internal injuries which you can’t see. Unless you’d like to take our place, stop judging others.

    13. So, Einstein, because someone has a non-visable -to-you… They’re not “worthy” of being out in public? Don’t need groceries, etc? Tell us what… Live through one of my Good days without screaming in agony and then come talk to me. SMDH

    14. You are absolutely in the wrong. Do your research. A Wheelchair is not required for you to park in one. Please refer to the DMV.

    15. I pity the fool that would try to challenge me about my right to park in a disabled parking space. I don’t feel the need to justify myself to some rude, busybody stranger that has the audacity to think that they are the Disabled Police. And Byron, who are you to decide that people should not be at shops without assistance? Who are you to decide who should and shouldn’t park in a disabled spot? Why would you think that anybody has to justify themselves to you, or anybody else?

    16. You’re completely wrong and if you EVER came at me with that kind of attitude I would make sure you were given the CORRECT information including some court ordered classes. You also seem to be under the impression that some “fakers” are taking checks you should be entitled to because of a chair. Chairs don’t determine degree of disability any more than a lack of one does.

    17. Byron, please take this in the spirit in which it is intended….you are an idiot! People have to go pick up prescriptions, buy food, buy stamps to pay bills via a money order, (many people do not have bank accounts so no debit card to pay bills online), attend a physicians appointment, and maybe even enjoy a trip to a local restaurant once every few months (can’t do much more than that living on disability payments). They might even enjoy attending a local church.

      I guess because people have a disability, God forbid a heart condition, chronic pain, a hip replacement, etc. they should be a shut- in from that point forward. Wouldn’t our communities be so much better if the disabled would just hide away in their homes? Guess what Byron, they collect disability checks after 2-3 years of being denied and fighting to prove they cannot maintain employment because of their medical (physical and/or mental condition) and likely a legal hearing to establish their disability. They legally park in handicapped parking with a placard issued by the DMV of their county/state despite not utilizing a wheelchair for mobility, and they are living in a community near you! Get over yourself.

      Guess what Byron? You are one second away from a life altering moment, a car accident, a work injury, a fall at home, or even a stroke or heart attack from being the person you so clearly look down your nose at. Bet your mom is quite proud of the “man” you have become. I pray that second in time that changes your life forever never comes for you but if it does, you will see life is a bit different than your short-sighted, mean-spirited attitude reflects.

    18. I don’t need a wheelchair. I live alone since my husband is in a nursing home- at 63 his spine decided it was done. His L leg was paralyzed. He had 2 spinal surgeries, then an infection came along and ate some of the discs. I was a caregiver for him in the home for years, but it got to the point where he lost more ability than I could manage, so he’s in the Vet’s home.
      I have a few diseases and disabilities, some that won’t be visible until they are more advanced. When I have to go out, if I’m not doing ok I park in the spot with the picture of a wheelchair. Then I walk in, usually just using a cane. It’s there because I can’t walk OUT. By then I am in so much pain, every step takes my breath (not good I’m also asthmatic)
      I do have a wheelchair in the trunk. Should I haul it out and use it, so you don’t decide if I am actually disabled? Except, I have trouble with it, it’s heavy and will kill my back.
      I have never met someone so ignorant to disability as yourself, Byron. In reality, it’s the people who aren’t in a wheelchair that need those spots the most. We go thru huge, exhausting trouble to get to a store. Someone in a wheelchair has wheels, so why should they use those spots? They can just roll on it. Or maybe they have a caregiver that can just push them in.

      Or maybe we could adopt something other than a wheelchair to denote a handicapped spot.

    19. “It’s a picture of a person in a wheel chair for a reason, it is needed for someone in a chair.”

      Wrong. It’s a picture of a person in a wheelchair to represent disabilities in general. It does NOT mean that people in wheelchairs are the only ones who can use those accommodations.

  108. Same thing happened to me with my disabled son who was waiting on a kidney transplant and tired easily. But she saw me getting out with him and assumed we looked the picture perfect health. I was none too nice!

  109. I have a left below knee amputation and unless im wearing shorts you cant tell , but i usually take it off when im driving so im always wearing shorts or the pants that i can wear as shorts but just have the right pant leg on , or there’s times i cant wear my leg and have to use my knee scooter. And ill get people that still make stupid comments . Like why you in a handicap spot and I’m like really , do you not see that im literally missing a left leg ? Its like im on this thing for shits and giggles. People have no common sense now adays.

    1. Invisible disability is very isolating; the disability community is rife with playing the game of my problem is worse than yours. The ableism can actually feel more isolating, for you are hopeful to find u understanding and instead are judged.

    2. I am a RBKA, similar to you often people can’t tell. So I’ve been approached on several occasions! One person even had the nerve to say, “ You shouldn’t park in handicap if you have a child!”
      I was floored! I usually won’t use the handicapped spots but sometimes my leg hurts due to my prosthesis.

  110. I have a range of disabilities, none of which are easily seen. I got involved with a professional women with disabilities group. I came find out that some people in the group didn’t think I had a disability. Very painful because one hope a support group of that type would be supportive. Gee,!imagine that? An outsider no matter which way.!As if I was joining a sorority..

    1. I so understand.
      I once joined a support group for my health condition. When others found out I worked full time they said oh you’re not as sick as we are, we can’t work. Oh yes they would work if they were single like I was. So hurtful not to he accepted by people in the same situation.

  111. OMG! I get the same kind of reaction. I had a lady telling me that it was not very nice to take my parents parking vignette! I have a rare syndrome and not always obvious…

    1. I am disabled. I’m legally blind. I do not drive because of this. My husband drives me wherever I have to go. I do have a placard. For me. My name is on the placard. I can walk but we park there so I’m close to the doors and so I dont have to walk so far. I have an incurable lower back. pain so it’s hard for me to walk. I don’t want to fall. I have fallen in the past once went to the E.R. because I didn’t see the uneven part of the sidewalk. It’s for my safety. When my husband goes anywhere by himself he parks in a regular spot. It not fun when you can’t see very well. And your stuck at home all the time. You just want to get out.

      1. A blind person shouldn’t have to walk very far in a busy parking lot. Regardless what your other disabilities may be, your blindness more than justifies your need for a handicapped placard!

  112. I hear ya. I am always prepared for the angry people that follow after I park in the handicapped. It amazes me to argue with Air Canada that I needed a wheelchair . I am ready for society to put away the judgement.

  113. We are programmed because it is the ones that have abused w/c parking, jump out of the vehicle,,yes even hugh 4×4’s, and run into whatever their going. I have seen it all over the years.
    Four teenage’s jump out of their medium size car. None of them looked disabled. They are confronted by several people, they are picking up a family member that is disabled. I just watch as I too am waiting for a place to park. Minutes later they all come out carrying small bags of ….. There are only four (4) of them same as how many walked into the extra. They confronted again by the elderly couple, told to mined their own business, gave them the finger and continued to yell at them. The couple were smart enough to get into their car, and then others came to assist because of the loud screaming. They now flipped every one off, got into their car screaming and drove away still screaming and now flipping everyone off. Yeah, let’s all just get along, mined our own business and hope the elderly couple weren’t assaulted. Hidden disabilities

    1. It doesn’t matter what you’ve seen over the years. Nobody, but nobody, has the right to demand that people must disclose their personal medical business to strangers in a parking lot. You think somebody is there illegally? Then call the police and let them handle it. In this day and age, confronting people in parking lots is downright stupid and dangerous.

      1. There is a disabled person who feels the need to police the parking bays at Lasswade high school centre. She has challenged us many times regarding collecting our daughter from school. On judging us she “says you don’t look Disabled” she is correct neither myself or my husband are but our daughter is and we have a right to park, display the blue badge and go collect our daughter or await her being brought out be support staff.. my daughter finds this kind of judgemental and confrontational behaviour upsetting and adds to her anxiety. It’s bad enough being judged and confronted by people who feel they have the right to challenge blue badge holders, let alone other disabled people, is there a competition on how disabled each are?? 🤔

        1. II have a son with autism and I have a placard for him. I use it to park on a blue spot during his school drop off and pick ups. I often get the hard stares from parents. 🙄
          I have to say that I only use the placard/blur spaces when my boy is with me, when He’s not with me I just park in a regular spot.

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