Proposed Changes to FL Handicapped Placard Law

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by WheeledTraveler, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. WheeledTraveler

    WheeledTraveler DIS Veteran

    Oct 10, 2007
    This won't necessarily make a difference to those who don't actually live in Florida, but I think there are enough people here who are that it might.

    Representative John Julien (D-Miami) has proposed a list of changes to the laws about handicapped placards. As far as I can tell, the changes aren't so much about who can receive them, but are about enforcement.

    Some of the proposed changes:

    - Renewals must be done in person
    - If a parent is caught using a placard illegally twice CPS may be called
    - Random audits of placard users (as often as every 6 months)
    - The setting up of a way for the general public to report abuse of permits (this would include "they don't look like they need it" as a reason to report)

    The full details of the proposed changes can be found at: (it's a PDF document)

    Possibly what's more concerning is the way the representative is marketing this in terms of the ability to report people who don't look like they need a placard. You can see some of that with the report at:

    I would suggest that any FL resident with questions/concerns contact their representative and also Rep. Julien.

    I hope this isn't out of line for this board, but I wanted to make sure people are aware that this is happening! (I also am curious how it might impact out-of-state placard users since I assume they would also be possible to report and due to WDW Florida gets a lot of them!)

    (edited for formatting)
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide this advert.
  3. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

    Aug 23, 1999
    Don’t worry!
    It is very much in line for this board.

    It is distressing and I see it as part of the current attitude that most people with disabilities are faking or seeking entitlement.
    You see those kinds of comments all over -
    from comments people make about WDW guests using wheelchairs and ECVs (“I could tell they were abusing it”)
    to comments people have made about buses (“I don’t see why the wheelchair can’t just wait and have the rest of their group wait in line”
    “They should have special buses for those people so we don’t have to have them taking up space on the buses")
    to dehumanizing comments (“Scooter people” “The wheelchair”).

    I personally think it would be very helpful to have every person in the US have to have a simulated disability for a day. Some businesses, schools and hospitals have done that for workers. They do things like putting opaque glasses on people to simulate blindness, glasses smeared with vaseline to simulate blurred vision, block ears with cotton balls, tie an arm to the body, tie both legs together to get some idea of experiencing what it is to have a disability.
    Maybe if that happened, there would be more people looking with compassion at those with disabilities and not looking with envy at things they think are ‘perks’.
  4. Escape2Disney

    Escape2Disney Friendly Neighborhood Disney Fanatic!

    Feb 24, 2009
    You are so right! It's disgusting comments like the ones you have mentioned that lead to people shutting themselves away to avoid being singled out. I'm a year out from my first WDW trip and worry a lot about stuff like that. Compassion has been missing from society for quite a while now.

    We (as a country) have moved toward the assumption that all people are criminally minded. It would be nice if, instead of making those types of comments, people would stop and think maybe we'd much rather be skipping down main street with our families like they do.
  5. dclfun

    dclfun DIS Veteran

    May 13, 2000
    I live in Florida, have an obvious need for a handicapped parking spot, and I'm appalled! The only time I've ever mentally questioned whether or not someone needed a placard was the time I went to the mall and several of the mall-walkers were parking in those spaces and then going in to walk their mile(s), holding weights. I can only think they were cardiac patients and perhaps at the end of their walk, they'd used up all their stamina, so yes, they would still need one. I've had more trouble with people w/o a placard parking in the handicapped spaces or in the hatch-marks next to them and blocking my lift than ever wondering if someone needed the same accommodation for whatever reason. What a horrible mentality!---Kathy
  6. bound2travel

    bound2travel DIS Veteran

    Aug 30, 2008
    My father was in a wheelchair for 18.5 years. There were times he was driving while we were running errands. Sometimes he would drop me off to run inside telling me he would park in the disabled parking to wait for me. I would always tell him not to as he wasn't coming in with me.

    Similar to the pp who have seen people park in the cross hatching, I've had to back Dad's car out so he could get in. He didn't have a life, but did have to fully open the car door to get as close to the seat as possible. Once it was another car with a placard that parked in the cross hatching!

    One thing I would like to see is more public awareness of what types of signage cars may have that allows for parking in disabled parking. I work in a library and had a patron complain that someone was illegally parked in disabled. I checked out the car (no placard) and tag (no disabled sign). When I paged the owner of the vehicle to get more information, I discovered that a license tag with "dmv" allows for disabled parking. That was not something I knew. Of course I apologized to the customer and explained why I was checking. He was fine with my checking as he could understand the reasoning behind it.

    I also have had a couple of friends and my Mom with "invisible" reasons to have a placard and I'm sure many thought they were using someone else's placard.

    Thanks for posting this information. I'll have to download the information and take some time to read through it carefully.
  7. herdtoDisney

    herdtoDisney DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2010
    I don't live in FL but I'm aghast at this!:scared1:

    My dad has a placard. We will be using it in Feb when us and my parents go to Disney. He doesn't 'look' disabled. What is Parkinsons disease supposed to LOOK like? :confused3 Unless a passerby stuck around long enough to see Dad shuffle across the parking lot, tripping over a storm drain, like happened at the grocery store BEFORE he got a placard! :mad:

    He's already hesitant to use it (Mom insisted he get it after the fall). I hope this does not pass. Not every disability is visible. :confused:
  8. persimmondeb

    persimmondeb Mouseketeer

    Oct 18, 2009
    Of course not everyone who needs a placard looks "disabled", but you know there are people out there who either abuse it outright (borrow someone else's placard, or use it when the handicapped person is not in the car) or are not as considerate with it as they could be. There people who have circumstances in which they need it-very hot, very cold, the only available spots are in parking lot Siberia, but they automatically park in the handicapped even when there are close spots and the temperature is pleasant-and I have a friend that I call out on that, because while she sometimes does need it, someone with a lift van ALWAYS needs it, regardless of temperature, distance of other spots, good day, bad day, etc.

    People who abuse the handicapped placards take away spots from people who NEED them. Of course you'll have idiots calling in people with invisible disabilities, but the kid who borrows Grandma's car for the afternoon should not feel entitled to use her handicapped placard, and I don't have an issue with him facing some consequences.
  9. A Mickeyfan

    A Mickeyfan DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2000
    My mother had one because she was "legally" blind, she had some vision. She didn't have a drivers license, never did have one. She would have had it taken away with the way her vision eventually ended up before she passed away. When either me or my sister would take her places. We would use it for her. She would have to have to have the closest spot to not have the far walk in the lot. Even with us, she had problems seeing the cars backing out of the spots & we had to physically hold her hand to make sure she was walking away from them. There was one time a person looked me and gave me a dirty look then went as far as telling me I could be fined for parking there. :rolleyes1 What the busy-body didn't realize was that it wasn't me, but my mother. Just because I was the "driver" doesn't mean the card was mine. Once she fell over the concrete curbing where you park your car and broke her ribs.. all because she couldn't see it... it blends in with the road, as they are not marked. I never understood why she couldn't see it, now with my sight starting to go, I do understand what she was going through... :sad2:
    So when people look and sneer, they don't see what the problem is, sometimes they don't even know if they are even looking at the "right" person. So they may very well be reporting the wrong person.... :headache: When my DH had his temp one, I did drive him around, but he was obvious when he got out of the car, even with me as a driver, but my mother.. no.. you could not tell.

Share This Page