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Archive for the ‘Parking’ Category

It has been a while since I have been here. To be quite honest, I forget that I even have a blog. The point of me starting a blog was to pass on information to others that may share similar challenges as I face. The challenge of living in a wheelchair.

Since starting this blog, I have been very open with my readers about many things. An accident in 1997 that left me a T8 paraplegic in a wheelchair, my faith, and the death of my parents and several friends all crammed into the past two years of my life.

Death…the great divide. I readily confess that it has taken a toll on me. I have pulled into myself and for the most part, cut myself off from the world. I’m sure the “experts” would say that I have been battling depression. Perhaps I have, perhaps I have not.

I do admit that my life has changed. We moved from a very busy lifestyle in a bustling city in South Carolina to a dead end road in the wooded forests of Maine. Going to get groceries now is no longer a quick trip to the nearest store. It is a now a planned adventure that will put at least 30 extra miles on my odometer.

I titled this post “Spoiler Ahead” because some of my previous audience may not care to read what I am going to be writing about.

Prostate cancer.

Red Flag.jpg

Yes, I have prostate cancer. And like living as a paraplegic in a wheelchair and sharing my challenges with the world, I find that I now have some new challenges ahead of me. I think that sharing my diagnosis, and challenges, will be good for me to keep things sorted out in my head and possibly help others that may be dealing with the same issue.

Cancer is a very evil sounding word. Yet for some reason, Cancer of the brain, or liver, or pancreas are looked at as acceptable to talk about in polite company. But if a person has been diagnosed with breast cancer or prostate cancer, we only whisper about it behind closed doors with personal friends.

Of course there of thousands of stories that people have shared and that is wonderful. Yet when I read many of them, there is something lacking. The actual details of dealing with things on a daily basis. And in my case, as a paraplegic, I have many things that I have to deal with than an ambulatory person does not face.

So in future post, I plan on talking about those challenges in great detail. Some of you may not care to read about those details so I am throwing up the red flag for you now. Some things will be graphic, some things will be bland, but all things will be honest and real.

It will be interesting to see what sort of  numbers I get of people reading these. And for those of you that are reading this, I hope in some small way it will help.

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imagesCAHFCRGBVehicle parking for individuals in wheelchairs can be a challenge. I know I wrote about this in a previous blog, but some things are worth mentioning twice. My focus here is going to be on parking spaces that are intended for vans that have either ramps or lifts on the side of the van.

This is going to be a very short blog because I am not planning on turning this into a whining session. The laws are such that businesses are required to have a certain number of handicap parking spaces per total. Problems arise for vans with ramps because many spaces provided are only suitable for cars. Most van ramps fold out from the passenger side of the vehicle. Spaces that are allotted for vans typically have a larger no parking zone as part of the space.  Unfortunately, many disabled people driving a regular vehicle will park in the larger spaces, even though the spaces are marked with signs for van parking only.

Here is a suggestion that I have for businesses and the ADA laws. Most people driving vans with lifts are in wheelchairs. People pushing a manual chair, or are in power chairs, are not overly concerned with parking 10ft from the entrance. We just need a place to park that will allow us to get in/out of our vans independently.¬†imagesSo let’s say that a business is required to have 20 disabled parking spaces. Locate 10 of the allotted spaces on the front row near the entrance. This would allow for people that have difficulty walking to park as close as possible. But place the wider spaces designed for vans with ramps or lifts near the back of the parking lot. People that do not need the wider spaces would not be tempted to park in them, and they would remain available for people that do need them.

This may seem like I am joking, but I am quite serious. I believe there is a problem with disabled parking and that the ADA needs to address it. Enforcement of the law is not possible since most parking lots are considered to be private property of each business, and cars cannot be ticketed or towed.

Perhaps you have some better ideas? Let me encourage you to start writing letters to Senators encouraging them to address the issue. Time to think outside the box.

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