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to be fed up of being challenged for parking in a disabled space?

(269 Posts)
hedgehogsdontbite Tue 01-Sep-15 06:26:12

People think they're doing the righteous thing when they appoint themselves to the parking police but do they ever think about the impact they're having on the other person?

I was challenged yet again yesterday. The woman watched me park then stood in the space behind my car staring at me the whole time while I got out. Then snaps 'these spaces are for disabled people' as I walk past her.

Thing is, I have a blue badge which was out on my dashboard which shewouls have seen if she wasn't behind my car. But why do I even need to justify myself to some random in a supermarket carpark? I feel so intimidated by this kind of thing that I couldn't cope being in the shop so left. So now I need to go today instead, if I can get past the anxiety it's created.

AIBU to think 'just leave me the fuck alone'?

Bullshitbingo Tue 01-Sep-15 06:28:04

Just point to the badge and walk off. No point getting yourself all anxious and letting it ruin your day.

lighteningirl Tue 01-Sep-15 06:31:33

Swear loudly at her you are not only defending yourself but also the next vulnerable person she tries to bully

Groovee Tue 01-Sep-15 06:35:46

I feel your pain. I have a blue badge and recently used a disabled toilet because the main toilets were upstairs and I was unable to climb up the stairs. As I came out I overheard a comment. I calmly looked at her and replied "I do not have to explain myself to someone who is judgemental like you!" And hobbled away. I felt good and will continue to say this!

Usually I find elderly people seem to think I am too young to need one! I just replied "disability is not restricted to OAPs.

Thebirdsneedseeds Tue 01-Sep-15 06:36:45

You shouldn't have to defend yourself, that's ridiculous. And I can imagine that it must really wear you down and upset you. Agree with pp who said just point out the blue badge.

What's the right thing to do if a car is parked in a disabled space with no blue badge? Challenge or not?

hedgehogsdontbite Tue 01-Sep-15 06:39:00

I just muttered 'I understand' confused and carried on walking. I'm autistic and normally can't speak at all when confronted like this. I've learnt the hard way that my silence enrages the righteous and puts me in physical danger. I find it so hard to leave the house at the best of times without this shit. And what I really want to know is why am I confronted so often but never when I have someone with me, only when I'm alone and most vulnerable?

insancerre Tue 01-Sep-15 06:44:00

I get that you have the right to a disabled badge but I don't understand why you need to park in a disabled parking space
You are going to have to educate me as to why you can't park in a regular space and walk across the car park

Pseudo341 Tue 01-Sep-15 06:46:12

YANBU. Of course you shouldn't have to explain yourself to strangers, despite this I've done it countless times, though nobody challenges me now I've got a massive van with a wheelchair symbol on the back. If you want to equip yourself to explain there's a company called Stickman Communications that makes cards you can hand to people to read saying stuff about invisible disabilities. Though "Fuck off!" is certainly a legitimate response.

Pseudo341 Tue 01-Sep-15 06:47:55

"You are going to have to educate me as to why you can't park in a regular space and walk across the car park"

insancerre, you are the problem!

WipsGlitter Tue 01-Sep-15 06:48:57

This has never happened me. But if it did I'd just point to the badge.

CrohnicallyAspie Tue 01-Sep-15 06:49:20

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about blue badges and disabled spaces. When you read eg the mobility criteria of PIP, to get 12 points (which gives automatic entitlement to a blue badge) you need to be unable to walk 50m independently. I think what people don't realise is that you need to be able to do it safely and as often as required.

So people wrongly assume that a person who gets out of the car independently and walks into a shop is not entitled to a blue badge. I only realised when a relative got a blue badge- she can walk but needs to rest far more often/for longer than most people.

Perhaps when you are with someone they assume that they are your carer. Or perhaps they're just cowards and don't want to confront 2 people.

Either way, just point to the blue badge. They can report you if they want, you know you are in the right.

CrohnicallyAspie Tue 01-Sep-15 06:50:15

Not to mention that you can get blue badges for other conditions than just 'unable to walk'.

insancerre Tue 01-Sep-15 06:52:37

Its a genuine question

You can't expect people to understand if its not discussed and explained
The op may not have to explain to random strangers in the car park but its realistic to expect everyone to understand hidden disabilities if the issue isnt discussed.

SanityClause Tue 01-Sep-15 06:56:26

hedgehogs doesn't have to justify herself to you, either, insancerre.

hedgehogs, if this happens reasonably often, could you come up with an all-purpose retort, like "please don't bully vulnerable people", or "I understand the blue badge regulations", and practise it at home. Perhaps you could do some role play with a friend or family member, where they act out the officious person, and you practise your line.

Pseudo341 Tue 01-Sep-15 06:57:49

You did sound very accusatory.

zoemaguire Tue 01-Sep-15 06:59:53

Insancerre the op does not have to justify herself to you or anybody else! Whyshould she have to educate you? Blue badges are not handed out like sweeties. All you need to know is that if she has one, she needs one. If you need educating about hidden disabilities (clue: the answer lies in the word 'hidden') that is your responsibility not hers.

Bunbaker Tue 01-Sep-15 07:06:38

I have a friend with MS. To all intents and purposes she looks fine when she gets out of the car, But there is no way she can walk across from the other side of the car park in a supermarket.

Lots of blue badge holders don't have obvious disabilities, and blue badges are not easy to get hold of, so I would never judge someone for parking in a disabled space if they already have a blue badge.

ProudAS Tue 01-Sep-15 07:08:15

Hedgehog - what about "Hidden disabilities are called hidden for a reason" or "Next time you choose to pick on a vulnerable individual please get hold of all the facts first".

hedgehogsdontbite Tue 01-Sep-15 07:11:08

I get that you have the right to a disabled badge but I don't understand why you need to park in a disabled parking space. You are going to have to educate me as to why you can't park in a regular space and walk across the car park

I need to be able to open the door fully to get in and out. I can't twist to get in. I also can't walk far. Although I may appear fine initially I can deteriorate very quickly. On this occassion I walked back to my car totally fine but when I went to get in I couldn't lift my leg high enough to get it over the bar/step to get in (thank you nice lady returning her trolley who lifted my foot in for me. I also need to be near the trolleys as I need one to lean on as I can't get my rollator out of the boot myself.

Is that good enough for you? Do you expect me to have to run through my medical history with you in the carpark at Tesco's?

00100001 Tue 01-Sep-15 07:12:30

I do t see the issue. I'm sure you'd get a bit miffed if all the disabled spaces were filled with non blue badge holders.

itsraininginbaltimore Tue 01-Sep-15 07:12:58

You don't have to justify yourself at all. You were given the badge fair and square according to the rules of the system, but if you ask me the system is very flawed and it should be reserved for people who have genuine mobility issues, not just any disability.

Mehitabel6 Tue 01-Sep-15 07:13:03

Some people are just plain rude- not to mention having a complete lack of imagination. You wonder why it has never dawned on them that not all disabilities are to do with walking.
I wouldn't engage - just tell them politely that you have a blue badge.
Or you could say 'I have a blue badge but see no need to discuss my condition with strangers'.

itsraininginbaltimore Tue 01-Sep-15 07:15:07

Oh hang on. I thought by saying 'I am autistic' you were saying you are registered disabled for your autism.

Do you have a blue badge because of your autism or because of physical difficulties?

00100001 Tue 01-Sep-15 07:15:58

Just say "I have a badge" and walk away

PotteringAlong Tue 01-Sep-15 07:16:12

I can see what insancerre is saying. If there is no physical disability then why is a blue badge needed? If someone has enough safety awareness to drive a car then is that not enough safety awareness to walk across a car park? And, I assume, that no physical disability discounts mobility problems.

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