My Opinion

50 Invisible Reasons Someone Needs Accessible Parking

It’s Christmas time, which means colourful lights, peppermint, and baked goods. Unfortunately it also brings out the worst of humanity as we all flock to shopping malls and factory outlets. One of those people that I am going to address today is the disability police. Random people with no authority or insight deciding that just because they can’t immediately see the reason someone has a parking pass, that they must not need it or deserve it. So here I am going to list fifty reasons why someone will have a pass, but are invisible to see to the average bystander. Just because the symbol is someone in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that’s the only reason to park there.


  1. Lower limb prosthetic – if they’re wearing pants and have learned to walk without a limp, you would never know
  2. Osteomyelitis – pain caused by bone infection
  3. General chronic pain – could happen as result from a trauma or injury and then persist
  4. Hip replacement – especially immediately after the operation
  5. Scleroderma – build ups of collagen in the muscles leads to stiffness and decreased movement
  6. Organ transplant – as the body copes with the new addition, limited movement and difficulty breathing can happen
  7. Partial recovery from trauma – a person who was severely injured may have progressed from a wheelchair, to crutches, to walking alone, but it still causes pain
  8. Anemia – can cause light-headedness and fatigue
  9. COPD – reduces lung capacity
  10. Emphysema – if severe, shortness of breath and fatigue
  11. Multiple Sclerosis – affects balance, movement and vision
  12. Endometriosis – intense pain and cramps, especially during menstration
  13. Vision loss or impairment – this can sometimes lead to a special pass for use as a passenger if they can’t drive
  14. Sarcoidosis – cough, fatigue, stiffness
  15. Peripheral Vascular Disease – damage to blood vessels, usually in arms or legs
  16. Myotonia Congenita – caused problems with relaxing muscles after contracting them
  17. Rheumatoid Arthritis – pain and decreased movement in joints
  18. Parent of disabled child – if they have to carry them or their medical gear, it could be debilitating
  19. Legg-Calve-Perthes disease – lack of blood flow to hip causes easier injury and slower healing
  20. Lupus – can cause decreased movement
  21. Cancer treatment – while not all cancers effect the use of legs or lungs, receiving treatment such as radiation may debilitate
  22. Diabetic Neuropathy – nerve damage in feet and hands due to diabetes
  23. Stroke – could cause partial paralysis and weakness
  24. Dysmenorrhea – intense cramping during menstruation, could include dizziness and nausea
  25. Pleural Effusion – also known as water on the lungs
  26. Crohn’s disease – intestinal disease
  27. Obesity – note that this may be a symptom of a larger medical issue
  28. Osteomalacia – weakening of the bones
  29. Labyrinthitis – inner ear infection causing dizziness
  30. Ulcerative colitis – inflammation to intestines, rectum, or both
  31. Cauda Equina Syndrome – caused by problem in nerves found in the lower back
  32. Thoracic Spinal Stenosis – narrowing of the middle of the spine
  33. Sciatica – weakness or pain in the legs
  34. Brain tumor – can affect walking or balance
  35. Hypothyroidism – can cause aches, pains, and swelling
  36. Hypophosphatasia – abnormal development of bones and teeth
  37. Porphyria – causes difficulty breathing, pain, numbness, sensitivity to sunlight
  38. Chronic migraines – could be triggered by exposure to heat, cold, or light
  39. Joint hypermobility syndrome – over extension of joints can cause pain and stiffness
  40. Myasthenia Gravis – immune disease causing muscle weakness
  41. Parkinson’s Disease – difficulty controlling body movements
  42. Cystic Fibrosis – fatigue and chronic pain
  43. Dystrophy- weakened muscles
  44. Cerebral Palsy – affects functions of the brain and nervous system
  45. Meniere’s Disease – inner ear disease that causes intense vertigo
  46. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – narrowed spinal canal causing pain
  47. Throat cancer – difficulty breathing and exercising
  48. Pulmonary embolism – artery blockage can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing
  49. Coronary artery disease – damaged blood vessels in your heart, cause of heart attacks
  50. Ovarian cysts – especially when ruptured, can cause serious pain in pelvis

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the reasons why someone applied for and received a parking pass for accessible parking. The point is that I could put together this list of 50 conditions that make walking to a store or carrying shopping impossible. All of these conditions are completely invisible to the casual observer or at least require a closer look to realize. If I can come up with all of these based on my own experience and a bit of Googling, then your ignorance and ill-directed rage is completely unnecessary.

Just researching for this article has really angered me. So many cases of disabled people being harassed and having their property vandalized because they don’t look disabled enough. People are so ready to dole out insults and cruelty than to stop and think that they can no way understand everything that is going on in someone else’s life. You can’t look at a person for two minutes as they walk into a store and be able to diagnose them of any medical issue.

I also do realize that a lot of people illegally use these parking spots without a permit, and I don’t condone that either. But there is a way to handle this that doesn’t involve childish name calling. If you see a car parked in a accessible parking without a parking permit, record their license plate number, take a photo of the car, and report them to the authorities. Receiving a fine, demerits on their record, or suspension of their license will send a much more effective message then a condescending note anyways. But if they have a province/state issued permit, then their disabilities are absolutely none of your business.




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