Letters to the editor -
I read with interest the letter in your Dec. 8 issue on handicap parking spaces.
Please allow me a few lines, which encompass my observances re: disability.
I am also the holder of a handicap parking permit allowing for a little more easement/convenience in my husband's transfer from our vehicle to the appropriate entrance.
Many users of such permits have all experienced frustration in searching for parking places, when people who have no such permit or disability have taken up the designated spaces.
I personally would like to remind those 'abusers' that a great price was paid for my husband's permit. It wasn't just a wheel into motor registration to sign his name. Some permits come at a higher cost then others. Yes, the price tag for his placard was quite high.
He would gladly trade in his parking placard for the privilege for him to walk great distances. However, we use it discretely - parking as close as possible rather then use the designated spot, leaving it for someone who may not have to use a wheelchair, but have illnesses, which are invisible to the passer-by.
Eleven years has trained me well in physically handling wheelchair mobility. So I don't mind the extra distance.
During that period of time and now, I throw a bouquet out to all who show care, concern, and respect for my husband's disability.
People living with a disability find it difficult at times. But it can sting even more when people they encounter are impatient, rude, insensitive, and downright inconsiderate.
Impatient people sometimes try to rush people with disabilities. A man who was behind us in the grocery line one day tried to unload my husband's cart for him. The gesture would have been welcome if it had been rooted in kindness, but it was obvious we were moving too slow for him in this fast-paced world we live in.
Inconsiderate people can be found using facilities specifically designated for people with disabilities.
Inconsiderate people do not hold doors open, a simple action that can make things much easier for a disabled person.
Rude and insensitive people are often found staring at people with disabilities. They seem to not like what they see, or imagine themselves in the role of the disabled person. It creates an uncomfortable situation unless you ignore the person who is staring.
We will not rid the world of impatient, rude, insensitive people, but we can control how we react to them. I try to surround myself with people, things and experiences, which are of a positive nature. What you can control, whether you are able-bodied or disabled, is yourself.
All humans face challenges, it's just that people with disabilities face different challenges.
I'm glad most respect the law and give those with special needs the advantage they deserve.
Rose and Gerald Andrews