Not long ago, I read an article about a heroic father’s quest to fight injustice for his son who is living with a rare genetic autoimmune disease called familial cold auto-inflammatory syndrome type ll (FCAS).
Mr. John Wallace and Keir, as written by the HuffingPost.uk, live in the Portobello suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland where, apparently, the laws for handicapped parking are q-u-i-t-e different than what we’ve got in the good old USA.
The problem is, when Keir is having a flare, he has to endure intense pain in his joints because effective treatment options are very limited. And on those days when Keir can’t walk and his father drives him to school and picks him up, they have to navigate several challenges. There’s the uncertainty of trying to find a parking space, and then there are days when Mr. Wallace has to physically carry Keir across a busy road, all the way to Keir’s classroom because there’s nowhere for Mr. Wallace to park close-by.
Just park in a handicapped space?
Sounds totally logical, right? But another man, Mr. Pearson, who lives near the school, and ironically happens to work for a homeless charity, frequently parks in the only handicapped space which is right in front of Keir’s school! Atta boy, Mr. Pearson! Nice! Now THAT’s a perfect example of practicing what you preach!
So, should Mr. Pearson just choose another parking space and give Mr. Wallace a break?
Of course! But…not so fast because…teachers—yes—teachers are parking in the spaces along the street in front of Mr. Pearson’s home.
Just call the “Bobbies” and let them write Mr. Pearson or the school a ticket?
Nope. Not happening. Nada. The UK has complicated laws that aren’t enforceable when it comes to handicapped parking, so the cops can’t do much—although it does appear that a court date is pending to battle it out.
But check out the big brain on this curiously-obsessed writer…
When I Google Mapped the school, St John’s Primary, to inspect their parking situation, myself…lo and behold…I saw how tight their parking situation is. I don’t know about you, but I’m outraged because people who are living with rare genetic disorders like FCAS deserve a break! Their entire families need assistance, care, and support—and that includes easy access to HANDICAPPED PARKING SPACES! But rather than just bitch and moan, here are my solutions:
- Knock down a metal barrier and paint 1-2 more handicapped parking spaces.
- Encourage teachers to carpool and paint another handicapped space on the street near the main gate.
- Ask school officials to allow Mr. John Wallace to drive through the main gate to drop Keir off and pick him up? Perhaps a school official could meet them to provide special access to the school?