24 September, 2013

Too Bad, But I Got There First

     I'm irritated. Maybe I'm sad too. I know I'm tired though.
       It does get old after all. A few days ago I went to my car as
      I left work only to find that someone had left me a napkin
 with a note on it. It wasn't a very nice note.
Let me explain. I have "License Plates for People With Severe Disabilities" as New York State so caringly labels them. I earned them, but I don't always need them. Since there are rarely enough handicapped parking spaces, I frequently leave them for folks with greater need and use a regular space if it doesn't cause a problem for me.

This morning I was at work well before 8:00 am and could park anywhere I wanted. I took the space closest to my office, and it was not a handicapped space. The handicapped spaces are a little further away to take advantage of grade and elevators. Those concerns are not usually a problem for me unless I'm carrying stuff, and that wasn't the case.

This student evidently came in later than I and resented that I had parked where I did. Of course, she could have come in much earlier and had a great choice of spaces. There is no shortage of parking on campus.

Her note reveals a lot about her - just not her name. I guess she's afraid to defend her beliefs, let alone her actions. She could have signed it after indicating she'd like to talk to me about issues related to disability.

It never occurred to her that the driver of the vehicle might not be the individual with a disability and, therefore, could not use the reserved spaces unless that person was with them. I also assume she's been ticketed for illegally taking a handicapped space. Enough said.

What galls me the most, however, is that she is just one more ignoramus who resents that some folks require and have the right reasonable accommodation. It's been a while since Blogging Against Disablism Day for which I repeated an earlier post.

To borrow from that post, this immature student has gotten "my knickers in a twist. ... some folks can’t stand the fact that others with disabilities get to park closer to where they are going than they do. I call this kind of attitude a leading indicator because if people are still that insensitive to disability issues, there remains much to be done to secure the civil rights of those whose independence is persistently challenged."

It isn't about me. It's about how far there is still to go. That's what irritates me. It's the refusal to recognize that reasonable accommodation is fundamentally a civil rights issue. All she cares about is that it somehow inconveniences her. I know I repeat myself but until those who are without disability are just as offended and angry about the barriers to independent living as are those who are with disability, ... well, we're not there yet.

So I'm irritated, and I'm sad. I'm tired too, but that student has no idea just how annoyed someone can be. I'm not too tired to share my annoyance with this young lady by telling her what a fatuous, petulant, insensitive, egocentric, semi-literate, dysfunctional, puerile, lily-livered, good-for-nothing slubberdegullion she is.

So there! Phew - now I feel better. Thank you very much.

By the way, I've continued to park there, of course. In fact, that space is now been designated as a parking space for "People With Severe Disabilities."