Handicap Parking and Abuse

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A couple of recent cases in America in which people with bona fide disabilities were verbally abused has highlighted the entire accessible parking programme. People using permits have the right to park in the appropriately marked spaces using their permits. Other people driving their cars without the disabled person may not use the parking spots.

Ontario had rigorous requirements for handicap parking permits. Only certain health conditions qualify someone for the accessible parking permits. Those with a disability must apply to the province, and must have supporting documentation signed by a qualified health care professional.

Persons with the following health conditions may apply for a free permit:

  • cannot walk without help from another person, brace, cane, crutch, a lower limb prosthetic device or similar assistive device
  • need to use a wheelchair
  • forced expiratory volume is less than 1 litre per second
  • portable oxygen is a medical necessity
  • cardiovascular disease impairment classified as class 3 or 4 according to the Canadian cardiovascular standard or American Heart Association
  • severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, musculoskeletal or orthopaedic condition
  • vision is 20/2000 or poorer in the better eye with corrective lenses
  • the greatest diameter of the field of vision in both eyes is 20 degrees or less
  • a condition or functional impairment that severely limits your mobility

You can find the details of the programme here.