Most people would not envy the life of a handicapped person. Our lives are not glamorous. We use awkward equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs, just to get around–no spike heels for this girl. Some people need a lift called a hoyer to get out of bed or to use the bathroom. Many of us will never go on a real date or have children or grandchildren. Many will not travel since much of the world has no accessibility for the disabled.
Although most people would not trade their lives for that of a handicapped person, amazingly, some people do not mind taking advantage of the nice services provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or those ideas created by generous people or agencies for the benefit of the disabled in order to make our lives a little better. For instance, on more than one occasion, my mom and I have gone somewhere such as the beach at sunset time when we were unable to park in a handicapped spot because those spots reserved for handicapped people were full of cars occupied by people who did not appear to have placards. We actually had to leave on one occasion after driving around and around the parking lot because no spot became available, and thoughtless people were taking up the spots reserved for people like me–a handicapped person who has difficulty walking. These trespassers, intruders, or whatever, thought that because their engines were running, and they were still in their cars, that they were not breaking the law. But because of them, the more entitled ones, I, the actual handicapped person, had to leave the parking lot without seeing the sunset.
Another example of misuse of services for the handicapped is at amusement parks. Now the lines for handicapped accessibility are longer than the general lines at Disneyland and other places, and I hear that they are getting rid of the handicap entrance because of misuse of the service intended to help people who cannot stand or who cannot hop on to a ride without the car stopping. At Sea World many of the areas set aside for wheelchairs are taken up by families with babies in strollers. I have also seen someone get up and walk away from his wheelchair–true fact! I saw it happen at the Colors of the Wind show at Disneyland. No one should do this! I was practically trampled as entire families ran in front of me to get to the few benches set aside for the handicapped at that program. One person was approximately a 30-year old able-bodied man who took my seat.
I have always wanted a service dog, but I am patiently waiting until things are ready with my family so that we can take care of one. Having a dog is a lot of responsibility, and training a service dog is a huge commitment. I have pages of pros and cons carefully recorded as I try to do the right thing about getting a service dog. It bothers me to know that many people buy the service dog vests and badges so that they can take their pets with them wherever they go. You can easily buy them online. But there is a difference between a dog who is a pet and an appropriately trained service dog meant for someone who has applied and qualified to receive one. Properly trained dogs do not bark in frequently see untrained dogs wearing service dog vests. It is not fair. It is not right!
Finally, a situation which I recently noticed but which I consider to be almost a scam is the growing abuse of concert ticket resales. I have waited for years to see Taylor Swift, but when we went online recently to buy tickets, we found out that tickets sold out in ten minutes while resale websites scooped up countless tickets in order to double and triple the prices with one catch: no tickets were earmarked as handicapped accessible. We spent hours combing every resale website. Am I going to be able to go to this concert? Do any of these people care?
Disabled people know that a lot of this world is inaccessible to them, but why do those people who have the good fortune to be able to walk and hop over railings need to take away the few things given to the handicapped. It’s easy as pie–like taking candy from a baby.