Changing Perspective

Mobility Parking Passes

There seems to be a common misconception that only those in a wheelchair or who are elderly are in need of a mobility parking pass. It’s amazing how quickly a younger person who legitimately parks in a mobility parking spot is judge. Even before one gets out of the car, people seem entitled to give a disapproving look or shake of the head. 

There seems to be a common misconception that only those in a wheelchair or who are elderly are in need of a mobility parking pass. It’s amazing how quickly a younger person who legitimately parks in a mobility parking spot is judge. Even before one gets out of the car, people seem entitled to give a disapproving look or shake of the head. 

Haven’t they seen the pass, clearly stuck to the window? Surely someone of my age wouldn’t just choose to get a mobility pass for the sake of it? 

My solution: Get out of the car, and limp even more than usual, or better get out my walking stick even if I don’t need it at that time. Instantly there will be a look of shame coming over the face of the person. It’s quite a humorous moment.

What I feel like saying to these people is that I would do anything to not need a mobility pass. I would do anything to be fit and healthy, and not find it painful to simply just walk. Sure it has its benefits, but I would trade a mobility pass for a ‘normal’ healthy life at any point. 

I have been entitled to a mobility pass since the age of 3, and I resisted getting one till I was 26 years old. I remember that I had spent nine months coming to terms with a diagnosis of a mental illness, on top of a disability and chronic illness. I was battling so much fatigue as a result of dealing with three challenging conditions that I no longer was willing to fight the need for a mobility pass. I felt defeated. I felt that I had lost one more aspect of a ‘normal’ life. I felt ashamed to use it, like I was a fraud. Yet this was simply because I was living in denial of the fact that I do need a pass, and that the pass is available to people like me, so that on the occasion I am able to find a mobility spot I have less to walk or it is at safe entry point to a building. 

I am starting to see that I’m equally entitled to a mobility-parking pass as much as as an elderly person, and besides they have access to seniors parking as well as mobility parking. It’s really about learning to embrace the tiny benefits of having a disability, in a world that otherwise sees disability and illness as a disadvantage. 

Author

briar@strengthdignityhope.com

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