Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor
Handicap parking thieves take disabled parking spaces away from those with actual disabilities.
Betsy Sparks, sociology major, pulled into the Rose State parking lot looking for a place to park. What Sparks witnessed was someone pulling into a handicap parking space and running off into a building.
“When people without disabilities take up these places, it makes it hard for people with disabilities to get to their classes on time,” Sparks said.
Sparks disability requires her to use crutches to get from place to place around campus.
“I am going to be getting a wheelchair soon, and having to pull it out of the car from a regular space is going to be difficult,” Sparks said.
There are various techniques for getting in and out of a vehicle with a wheelchair. Some people find it easier to get into the passenger side of the vehicle, then slide into the driver seat, and then pull in their wheel chair. This difficulty is compounded when attempting to do it within a regular, narrow parking space.
“When students with disabilities enroll into the college I think the school should put a handicap symbol on their parking hang tag or give them a sticker to put in the window,” Sparks said, “So that the campus police can distinguish between who really has a handicap and those who don’t.”
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Parking spaces required to be accessible: Accessible parking spaces serving a particular building shall be located on the shortest accessible route of travel from adjacent parking to an accessible entrance. Accessible parking spaces shall be at least 96 in (2440 mm) wide. Parking access aisles shall be part of an accessible route to the building or facility entrance. Parked vehicle overhangs shall not reduce the clear width of an accessible route. Parking spaces and access aisles shall be level with surface slopes not exceeding 2% in all directions. Accessible parking spaces shall be designated as reserved by a sign showing the symbol of accessibility. For vans a "Van-Accessible" mounted below the symbol of accessibility is required.