Is your disability obvious?

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  • #139093 Reply

    I am a full time carer and not disabled.

    I was with my wife yesterday and parked in a disabled parking space, as I got out the car I noticed this guy give me a look. As I was making my way to the boot to get the wheelchair out the boot this guy I now stopped for a chat. The guy who’d been watching me approached and and said I was parked in a disabled bay. I quickly told him the situation and he apologised, I told him not to apologise as I have considered doing the same on a number of occasions.

    The thing is many disabled are not “obviously” disabled so there is no way of knowing, until the blue badge is displayed.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 32 total)
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  • #139097 Reply

    My disability is not obvious apart from a bad limp. The first thing I do is put the blue badge on the dash.

    But to be honest, I have never been challenged when parked in disable bay.

    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
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    #139099 Reply

    That was a first for me joss but the wife challenged someone previously and again the person had a blue badge so she’s never done it again.

    #139100 Reply


    Even then it is not simple, as since 2019 people with hidden disabilities can apply for and receive a blue badge:

    So, your ‘Mr Watcher’ has no way at all knowing who has and hasn’t a disability.

    For your part, you have no reason to have to explain to him your situation. Say, for example, your good lady had an embarrassing hidden disability, would you feel the need to explain that to a stranger?

    Speaking personally, unless I am wearing shorts, or walking (or my form of walking anyway), it is difficult for people to know I have a prosthetic leg if I am stood still!

    If someone did ask me (other than Police, parking wardens etc) I would tell them it is none of their business – if they can understand my speech that is.

    #139101 Reply

    I’m not the Blue Badge police, unless something like a workers van is parked in a disabled bay and it’s the only one available.  Life’s too short…

    #139102 Reply

    One of the things I have learnt over the course of a lifetime is that most people are so preoccupied with their own appearance and self perceived shortcomings that they are oblivious to what other people look like. Obviously if there is something easily spottable, like a wheelchair or crutches etc they can tell someone is disabled. If they are looking for a blue badge space then they can be hawkeyed (and wrong) in spotting a transgressor. People drive into car parks looking keenly for a space, they notice far more than at normal times. The notion of hidden disabilities and cars for children driven by parents should change all that. In general, unless we are specifically looking we consciously notice very little. How many times do we drive home on autopilot and remember nothing?

    I have seen many occasions when some fit young bloke slams into a disabled space and runs into a shop or a bank. 99% of the time they are probably abusing the system. In Sheffield at Fox valley, a butchers shop park in two spaces to sell their  wares from their bespoke van. I phone the store and complain. You cant do much with young men who run in and out.

    #139105 Reply

    BigDave I had no problem explaining our situation, didn’t go into any detail of course, but there are so many people abusing the system, and nobody doing anything about it. It was quite refreshing to see someone taking the time to question what they thought was a parking abuse.

    #139106 Reply

    I almost got pulled by a parking warden a few years ago when I parked at the kerb of an on street disabled row of spaces. With in a few seconds of pulling up the warden was on my widow before I could even get the badge out, I opened the window and with that he could see the adapted control on my steering wheel, he didn’t say a word other than “Oh, so sorry, carry on, good day to you sir” and walked off.
    That time I was sat in the car so they couldn’t see me but a few years before that I had a parking warden waiting by my car that had the BB displayed and when I returned the moment he seen me coming he walked off.

    I found it satisfying they do check and would not mind showing them the picture on the back of the badge if needed.

    Apart from that I had many folk stop and ask if I needed a hand to get my scooter into the boot of the car in the days before I had an hoist but now they just ask about the hoist. 😁


    #139109 Reply

    My favourite I parked in a non disabled bay by the disabled bays, a disabled woman pulled up and wanted my parking bay, we asked why, because I always park there, why not park in one off the free parking bays, her reply because I am more disabled than you ?

    The mind boggles

    In 2005 I suffered a brain injury which has left me with mental and physical disabilities.
    Unfortunately I do get confused and get things wrong, so I apologise in advance.

    #139111 Reply

    To the “You don’t look disabled” remark, a good repost is “Well you don’t look stupid”

    I do applaud parking wardens etc who ask to check badges, as sadly many people abuse the system

    Previous Motability Cars
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    #139112 Reply

    Like you Brydo, it’s my wife who is disabled and she won’t ask for a blue badge to avoid the hassle from ignorant people. As a result we don’t use disabled bays but as we don’t live in a city it’s never been an issue finding parking. I do object to people abusing their use and have spoken up when i see it. I watched a young chap jump out of a Golf GTI and run into a local shop. I pulled him up about using the space and he became really abusive and i thought i might get punched! Unbeknown to him my son who is 6’4 and 17 st. was coming up behind him. He nearly wet himself and ran to his car leaving his shopping lol ,which i later dropped into the charity trolley. Lesson learned i hope.

    #139115 Reply

    My disability isn’t too obvious immediately after getting out of the car but once I have my walking stick in hand it is.

    Had the usual “you’re too young to be disabled” from the coffin dodgers but not so much now my hair is going grey, but I’ve always politely told them to go & die.

    It can happen because of the vehicle too, I parked up in one of works vans in an on street disabled bay, hobbled off after displaying my blue badge & time disc, & returned to find a parking ticket stuck to the windscreen. Being a large van, reaching the parking ticket wasn’t easy & I tried to swat it off with my walking stick. Traffic warden returned, took the ticket off & passed it to me & revealed he had clearly made a mistake & I was to challenge the parking ticket, which I did & won the appeal without any problems as I guess the traffic warden had already told them he’d issued it in error. The reason for the traffic warden’s error was making the assumption that a blue badge on a large works van over 100 miles from where the blue badge was registered to a woman must be stolen or being used by someone else. Good thing is that traffic wardens do check who badges are issued to.

    Also had french police in Paris come to chat to see if I was parking legally near the Louvre in a disabled bay, when they saw the wheelchair everything was fine. And in Bilbao told off two policemen who tried to tell me whilst I was unloading the powerchair that my Blue Badge wasn’t valid in Spain, to which I told them to get lost and they accepted that as a “don’t bother picking on a mad englishwoman, you’ll lose”.


    #139116 Reply

    Well said @gothitjulie. Sympathies for the greying hair but admiration for the “go and die” rejoinder and I do speak as one is seriously dodging the sarcophagus!

    Know what you mean about the van; even worse when it’s a pair of rozzers who’ve stuck their area car in a disabled bay while they go into the local KFC to get their take-away lunch. Didn’t challenge them as this was in Croydon where they can be very malicious.

    #139117 Reply

    my wife is the blue badge holder, I am her carer. In Kent the blue badge starts with 3 different numbers for male or female holders. I have had problems when I have taken shopping bags back to the car, from wardens , when I park in town with her

    #139121 Reply

    As a wheelchair user I’ve had people looking when I’m parking (as we all have?) but most people have actually waited to see who gets out the car before saying anything and then they normally offer to help.

    Funniest looks are when I’m riding my motorbike & sidecar though… 🤣🤣 most people can’t understand until I start lifting my chair out the sidecar. For those that are interested it’s a Yamaha FJR1300 with a Merlin Super Sports Sidecar, Kilktronic gear changer & Kliktronic combined brake lever. We’ve been all over the country on my bikes over the years with my wife going pillion, camped at plenty of rallies and toured extensively… due to getting older 2020 was going to be my last year but maybe I’ll try and manage some trips in 2021 🤞


    #139124 Reply

    1 SAH, 2 CVS, 5 TIA, 1 ARVC 😂

    These are not visually obvious to others, but to me they are very real.

    #139127 Reply

    The answer for me is yes, it’s glaringly obvious and have had a life of point and stares.
    I’m used to it but sometimes it still cuts really deep. And by that I mean tearfully so at times. It’s more my family and friends that it bothers more at the time. And again, being honest, that’s usually worse for me as it;

    A) Brings to my attention something I’d either not seen or chosen to ignore, or

    B) Usually causes a scene. Something that, at 53 years of age, I do my utmost to ignore  and admit it’s a large part of why I go out less and less now.

    At 53, I’m pleased to say I do look a lot younger and I too have had the “You’re not old enough” discussion but as soon as I’m out of the car I’m faced with a clamped mush and quietness.
    I too have had the apology from badge warriors and to be honest, it doesn’t bother me at all.
    Disabled and parent parking bay abuse really annoys me, it always has.
    My brother-in-law’s spoilt brat of a cousin and his wife are right at the top of the list for this. It’s caused a number of arguments over the years. Most at the front of supermarkets.

    🏎 I will be remembered for nothing but had great fun doing it 🏎

    #139130 Reply

    Bobscot. Please make your son available as an option with all motability cars.

    #139141 Reply

    Why bother.

    The truth is a blue badge is only valid for parking on the street not on private land, so there is not much at all that can be done about it..

    They could issue you an invoice or a notice but under law As the blue badge doesn’t apply they cannot chase you for that debt.. They can try but if you don’t pay no court in the land will uphold it.

    Plus think about it what sort of person would park in one that doe’s not have a blue badge. So it’s not worth your while imo, as you never know, one day it might be the wrong person and you get hurt bad or even killed. over what exactly.. opening your mouth and policing the bays.. Most decent people don’t park in them.

    Although i have asked a police car to move quite a few times and flashed my badge at him when no bays are empty.

    #139148 Reply

    Mine is not always physically obvious (no wheelchair) but people have said things (sometimes not very nice) when I’ve taken quite a while to walk or in some cases sit down to prevent myself from collapsing, using public toilets has always taken longer than the average non disabled person and needing assistance carrying large/heavy items. It can be frustrating and upsetting but over the years Iv just learnt to let it go. Of course I do always wish things could be different and it does get me down.

    #139177 Reply

    How pathetic people must be to have to want someone to prove they are disabled. Anyone who said this to me is welcome to my “free car” and a lifetime of pain and depression.

    #139183 Reply

    How pathetic people must be to have to want someone to prove they are disabled. Anyone who said this to me is welcome to my “free car” and a lifetime of pain and depression.

    There are some sad pathetic people about sadly.

    #139202 Reply

    Never had an actual problem using a Disabled Bay, but did see more than a few scowling ‘lurkers’ when we pulled up in an electric blue Audi TT (we had 2 different kinds in 8 years).  Soon drifted away once DH hauled my wheelchair out of the boot.  I one case a middle aged couple came over to check out the boot space, impressed a ‘chair could even fit in the boot.

    When I’m out by myself it becomes clear as soon as I take the stick out.

    #139263 Reply

    I am double leg amputee and it seems there’s a price to pay for being mobile with prosthetics as quite often when I park in a disabled bay and especially when I’m still in my Suit from work I get looks or comments that say I shouldn’t be parked there but when I politely explain my circumstances and reason for parking there the expression is priceless.

    #139285 Reply
    #139302 Reply
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