As this appears to be a Health and Safety issue, then the centre should be closed until further notice. Mobility is not only a factor with wheelchairs as there are many other other aspects of mobility, this is discrimination to selective groups of the community.
This is unbelievable. It is blatant disability discrimination. Turn the lifts off if you have to but make other access arrangements or adjustments. There is absolutely no excuse for banning disabled customers. If the centre is not safe for wheelchair users, it’s not safe for anyone and should be closed to everyone until it is safe again.
Please, readers, please, share this post as widely as possible. I’ll be sharing it with every media outlet I can think of.
College student Julie McGovern was issued a handicapped parking pass years ago due to a chronic illness that leaves her unable to stand or walk for long periods of time. But because she doesn’t require crutches or a wheelchair, she often feels uncomfortable using it.
“Being a young person with an invisible chronic illness is one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with. People think I look fine, so I am not sick…My doctor issued me a handicapped parking tag. I have always been afraid of what others would say and I often sit in my car until I feel no one is around so that they won’t judge me or accuse me of using the system.”
McGovern’s comments are part of much longer Facebook post entitled “Today My Fear Came True,” in which she reacts to a note left on her car by a stranger:
She described her initial reaction to the note:
“Today my worst fear came true. So many emotions flooded my mind. I was hurt, I was angry, I wanted my voice to be heard, but this person is a coward and could not tell me what he/she thought to my face. This person incorrectly perceived my situation, because it is impossible for someone my age to have an illness.
This person doesn’t know me or my struggles. They don’t know what this illness has taken from me. They don’t see the countless nights I cry myself to sleep, soaking my pillow with tears, pleading – praying for God to heal me. They don’t see the weakness, the pain, the symptoms that are very real, but only I can feel. They don’t understand, and until it happens to them they never will.”
The young Arkansas woman suffers from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, known as POTS – one of a number of serious afflictions known as ‘invisible’ diseases.
As Fox16 reports, POTS can cause McGovern’s “blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels and her heart rate to speed up.”
But instead of lashing out or getting angry at the ignorance of strangers, McGovern is using this opportunity to raise awareness for those with invisible disabilities. As she writes in her post:
“A handicap comes in all shapes and sizes. Don’t judge someone by the way they look. If you are unsure, approach me and ask me about my illness. I am always happy to share my story and raise awareness, because if it reaches even one life or inspires one person, or helps many more, it was worth it.”
According to the Invisible Disabilities Association, 26 million Americans suffer from severe disabilities, while only about 7 million require a cane, crutches, wheelchair or walker.
Examples of invisible disabilities can include audio and visual impairments, cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis, in addition to POTS. …………’