If You Use Handicap Parking Without A Disability, You Deserve To Get Towed

If You Use Handicap Parking Without A Disability, You Deserve To Get Towed

And no, being lazy does not qualify as a disability.
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Riding around in the parking lot of Walmart is a frustrating thing. I get more annoyed by the minute. My parents and I ride around the entire lot, 15 whole minutes spent just going around in circles. The time that could be spent shopping for what we need is spent just in the parking lot.

All I see are people, who walk perfectly, parking in the handicap parking spots.

And it isn't just me who goes through this. This happens way more times than it should. Disabled people everywhere have to spend half their time out just riding around the parking lot.

We have to look for a parking spot far from wherever we are going just because people who don't have disabilities want to park closer to the door in the handicap spots.

Those spots are supposed to be for people with a disability that hinders their mobility. That means people who use wheelchairs, crutches, walkers or some other device that allows them to move around.

There are also people with conditions that aren't visible. Conditions like heart disease, lung disease, shingles and other conditions that make walking long distances a big problem. These people all need the handicap spot because it is the closest to their destination.

Being lazy is not a valid excuse for people to use the handicap parking.

It's simple — if you can walk without any assistance and for long distances, then use the regular parking spot. And, just because you may be running late to wherever you are going, it is still not a valid excuse to use those spots.

I've seen many people just use the parking spot as a place to wait while their passenger goes inside the store and shops. The fact that people feel they can take a parking spot away from someone who really needs it to just sit in their cars and wait is beyond insensitive.

I've also seen people misusing their handicap placard. They may have a spouse, child, mom, dad or some other loved one who does have the placard because they have a legitimate disability.

The trouble is the placard gets used even when the person with disabilities is not in the car.

I am in a wheelchair, which means I have a handicap placard. Since I don't drive on my own yet, my parents drive me around in my van. That means they have the handicap placard all the time.

But, do you think they use it when I am not in the car? No, they do not. They do the responsible thing and park in a regular spot.

The rules are simple.

People who feel that they need to park in the disabled parking need to go to their physicians and have them sign the appropriate documentation. Anyone who doesn't follow these rules and decide to take the parking spot, they definitely deserve for the cops to be called or to be towed.

The issue isn't that we want things "easy" for us; the handicap spot was built around our needs. The spots have an extra space next to them with white diagonal lines on it. This spot gives us extra room to get situated in any way we need to.

For me, my van has a ramp that I use to get in and out of the car with my wheelchair. If I don't have the extra space for my ramp, I literally cannot get in or out of my van.

Many people put their wheelchairs or walkers in the trunk of their cars. That means they need extra space so that their companions can get their wheelchairs and set them up so that they can get out of the car.

Again, it is very simple. If you can walk without needing help and for long distances, then there is no reason to take the handicap spot away from someone who really needs it.

Cover Image Credit: Pixnio

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5 Things That I Need My Differently Abled Friends To Know

Being your friend has truly been a privilege.
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I have been lucky enough this semester to be placed as a Young Life leader for students with disabilities in the Mid Miami Valley. I have always had a huge love for students with disabilities. In high school I loved hanging out with them, I loved getting to know their big hearts, and I loved just being their friend. And now that I am a Young Life leader for these amazing people I am able to connect with them on a deeper level.

I now get to be their friend and get to walk with them on their journeys with Christ. It has been truly the highlight of my semester and probably freshman year of college!

So here are some things I want to say to my amazing friends with special needs,

1. You are not broken in any way.

You guys were made just the way you are by God and, yes, you may have a few more barriers or look different than most people our age, but that does not make you any less of a person.

2. You bring so much joy to the world.

You guys have so much to offer everybody and you have a way of being a light in so many situations thanks to your big hearts.

3. I am sorry if anybody has ever called you the "R" word.

The word "retarded" is toxic and demeaning and should be considered a cuss word. If anybody has ever used that word to describe you, I am deeply, deeply sorry. You are so much more than that.

4. You are SO loved.

There are so many people on this Earth that love and adore you guys, so never ever be discouraged if there are some people that just don't see how great you are. I love you and God loves you so much and more than anyone on this Earth ever could.

5. I see Christ in you more than anyone else.

You guys have a way of carrying yourselves that shows love to all people and you have a way of finding so much happiness in the little things.

I love my friends with disabilities so much and I am so proud to be their friend. They have more barriers to living a normal life than your average person, but it makes them stronger and they are not in any way less human than the rest of us. They inspire me every day and being their friend has truly been a privilege.

Song of the week: "Cry Pretty" - Carrie Underwood
Cover Image Credit: Sydney Fowler

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How To Take Care Of Yourself When Sick At College

Mom can't always hold your hair back and make you soup.
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Being a freshman in college is difficult enough, but what they don't tell you about being a first year is that you will get sick many many times throughout the course of the year. it's the first time in your life you are sick and your mom is not there to bring you soup, check your temperature, take you to the doctor, etc. Its taken me some time, but I think I have finally figured out some tips and tricks to make yourself feel better when you're sick and on your own:

1. Daily Vitamins

Vitamin C chewables are so easy to get and don't taste like death like some vitamins do. I recommend taking 2 a day to prevent feeling like crap.

2. Chicken Soup

I have made soup in my dorm room before, so know that it is indeed, possible. Just make sure you get the canned type that's easy to open, because, I don't know about you, but I don't have a can opener lying around my room.

3. Getting rest, but still doing things

You should nap whenever you can. Sometimes a lack of sleep is what can get you sick in the first place. However, that doesn't mean you should stay cooped up in your bed all day every day. You should get up and do some activities every once in a while like making food for yourself, doing your laundry, organizing, just so you don't feel like a potato and make your sickness worse.

4. Tissues and cough drops everywhere

Tissue packets that you can put in your backpack are the key to going to class while sick. Also, always have a travel-sized hand sanitizer on you. Cough drops are also a really easy and efficient way to stop your throat from hurting if you don't have time to sit your butt down and drink tea or do that crazy throat spray.

5. Showers

Never underestimate the power of a good long shower. Sorry to my floormates, but the past 2 times I've been sick this year, I took showers and would stay in them forever. I don't know if this scientifically correct, but I always felt as though my nose cleared up so much after I showered.

6. Hydrating

You should do this anyway, but make sure you are drinking a lot of water throughout the day; it can help you feel better. It also helps, if you are trying to lose weight, to drink a gallon a day. You'll have to pee a lot but it clears up your skin and just overall makes you feel better.

7. Call home

Yeah, your mom can't do anything to help this time around, but she can make you feel better with her words and advice. Whoever it is at home who has helped you with the flu, colds, and sore throats in the past, it doesn't hurt to talk to them to get some advice and just feel comforted.

Cover Image Credit: flicker Creative Commons

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