LETTER: Spaces are not a reward for disability

To the woman who confronted me outside Nonna's on Chatsworth Road at about 7pm on Tuesday, March 8.

Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 3:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:01 am

I am the man you ‘challenged’ because I was parked in a disabled parking space outside Nonna’s the other evening. 
You’ll remember me because I showed you my disability. You didn’t ask if I had a blue badge, you rudely accused me of doing something wrong without even bothering to check your facts.

Whilst it might seem noble to challenge the use of these spaces, your behaviour was anything but. It is clear you do not care about the people who need to use them. Indeed, your attitude shows that this is just a crusade for you.

It has nothing to do with how the misuse of disabled parking spaces affects people like me who have a genuine need to reduce the amount they have to walk but it’s just about a principle. In other words, you only care about how this affects you.

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You know that what I am saying is true because you refused to apologise. You didn’t care about how your attitude affected me after I had proved I was ‘entitled’ to use the space. I hate that term. It’s not a privilege to be disabled and using these spaces is not a reward, it is something designed to provide some support to people who need help from society.

I hope your male passenger, who sat cowering in your car whilst you delivered your judgement upon me, finds the backbone to tell you to stop doing this. 
Sooner or later you risk the danger of offending the wrong person and it will then no doubt be your tremulous male passenger who ends up in the line of fire.

In ending this letter I would like to invite you to reply to apologise, to prove me wrong by showing your actions are driven by compassion rather than a poorly defined principle.

You offend me, you patronise all disabled people and your approach to challenging the use of these spaces is unkind and carelessly executed. 
I hope you think before you act next time.


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