Thursday, September 5, 2013

She Doesn't Look Handicap...

Can you count how many times you've seen someone misuse a handicap decal? Probably not. Or maybe it is a common case of mistaken judgment. Sure, people misuse handicap decals, but many do not. How can you tell the difference...the wheelchair...the cane? The answer is that you can't tell the difference between proper use and misuse.

There are so many hidden or invisible illnesses that society is simply unaware of. Now days, people have to see evidence of a disease, impairment, or disability in order to accept that someone is truly ill. However, the vast majority of disabilities and illnesses are hidden. Chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, and diabetes are just a few hidden impairments. 96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with a condition that are invisible (according to John Hopkins University). These people ARE qualified to have a handicap decal by means of a doctor's approval.

So the next time you see a young lady, like myself, park in a handicap space with a legal handicap decal, don't assume I'm using my Mother's handicap decal - it is indeed issued to me. Please don't be one of so many that cuts their eyes at me with a nasty look or leaves me a cruel note - you are better than that. And please don't teach your kids through your actions that it takes someone in a wheelchair to be legitimately disabled. Think before you make judgments. 

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Mental Illness and the Church