Hope for Disabilities

Fulfilling unmet needs in the disability community

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Wheelchair Parking Etiquette

Posted by Ask Emily on May 5, 2018 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

This blog post, is probably seriously long overdue, but better late than never.  We see posts almost on a daily basis where people are violating handicapped parking privillages.  We decided to shed some light on this to help educate the public of the challenges when it comes to wheelchair parking spaces.  Every so often, we come across a post where a car has decided to squeeze in between two cars parked in designated wheelchair parking spaces either oblivious to the white lines on the space in between, or not caring that this space is not an actual parking spot.  Some people may lack the common sense to know that those lines actually serve a purpose.  It doesn't take rocket science to know that typically, the ramp in an accessible van lowers out of the sliding door on the passenger side of the van onto...you guessed it, the white striped space between the two parking spots.  If a car parks there AFTER the wheelchair has been lowered, they can't get back into their van and have to call law enforcement and then they either do a courtesy to the illegally parked car's owner and try to locate them in a reasonable amount of time, or they call a tow truck to have the car towed and then the illegally parked car's owner has to pay an impound fee to get their car back for doing something that could have easily been avoided.  Another thought to keep in mind, if you do think that space is an actual parking spot and you spot it and go racing in there in hopes to beat another driver to it, chances are that A) No one else is going to try and take that spot because they know that it is not a legal parking spot and B) if you go flying in there and the van's ramp is down and you run over it with your car that you are attempting to illegally park, you are going to have to pay the cost to repair the persons now broken ramp and they are going to have to find an alternate way home which in most cases, is easier said than done.  

Since we are on this topic, we also want to bring up a few other points.  A wheelchair parking permit or license plate is designated typically to one person, and if that person is not with you when you use it, that is also ILLEGAL and morally wrong for that matter.  In some states, you are required to carry an ID card that goes along with your parking permit or license plate that lets law enforcement or parking enforcement know who the permit actually belongs to because they are trying to crack down on people ILLEGALLY using these permits.  We have even heard of cases where people are actually breaking into cars and the only thing that they are stealing is the parking placard not knowing that it can be traced to a specific individual and it is a crime to use a placard with someone elses name on it. 

If you see someone who is illegally parked in a wheelchair parking space, call your local law enforcement and you can tell them it is not an emergency, but you would like to report their license plate and have it documented that the person appears to be illegally parked.  This way, if they are a repeat offender, they can be fined for what they are doing or if they may have accidentally forgot to hang their placard, they will get a reminder that they forgot and the fine will be dropped as long as they can show proof that they actually have a placard.  We hope by writing this post, we can actually help educate those who need to be educated or a refresher course on the do's and don't when it comes to Wheelchair Parking Etiquette.

When No One Understands Your Head Injury or Memory Loss Including Yourself

Posted by Ask Emily on April 29, 2018 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)
Most if not all of us have heard the saying, "Patience is a virtue", this could not be more true when it comes to working with someone with a head injury or memory loss. When a person has a head injury or memory loss, they can become easily frustrated. These people sometimes forget what might seem like the silliest things, but they truly can't help it and are often made fun of and criticized for something that they truly have no control over. When dealing with a head injury or memory loss, you might forget where you set something down, where you parked your car, or maybe something more serious like to take the food out of the oven, or to pick up the kids at school. These are all real life things that sadly can and do happen to people who struggle on a daily basis with head injuries or memory loss. When you find yourself in a situation with someone with a potential head injury or memory loss, be patient with them and stay calm. If you are short tempered with them, that will just add to their frustration and will not help them. When someone has a head injury or memory loss, chances are they will repeat themselves over and over again or ask the same questions over and over again and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Just because a person has a head injury or memory loss, doesn't meant that they can't function on their own at least for the most part. Depending on the severity of the head injury or memory loss, measures might be taken to ensure the person's safety. When a person has a head injury or memory loss, their family might check in on them from time to time if they live alone, or hire someone to come in and make sure that their needs are being met. The family might even hire a company such as Life Alert to be on call 24/7 just in case the person has a medical emergency and needs help, but they don't require someone living with them full time to make sure that this need is met.

When Your Childs School Cares More About Their Education Than Their Health

Posted by Ask Emily on April 26, 2018 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)
Has your child's health been declining over the years? Have they missed more and more school due to their declining health? Does the school seem to be more concerned with their number of absences than the work that they have done at home independently and you have turned it all back in and found that they are still figuring out how to do the material with the help of a parent or a tutor? More and more families are being harassed and discriminated against in the public school system because all the school staff seems to care about, is the child's education and not the child's declining health. Their response is send them to school every day and things will get better, but that is not the case sometimes and the parent and the child know best, but it turns into senseless arguing, meetings and sometimes even legal battles and unnecessary CPS complaints that take away resources and services to families who are in serious crisis and need those services more urgently. We find it rather ironic that the schools have policies in place where if they have a fever over a certain degree or other symptoms that they stay home and yet if they have a chronic illness, they are expected to be at school. This makes absolutely no sense. How do we get these, "educators" to understand what our child is dealing with and get them to see that they are doing their best under the circumstances of their illness? How do we open their eyes to the common sense that if we focus on their health and get their health under control that they will be able to be back in the classroom participating at full capacity instead of coming to school half drained of energy and can't function to the best of their ability?