(NewsUSA) -Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) has been advocating for accessibility for Veterans and all people with disabilities for decades, and now, as part of their 75th anniversary, they're asking for the public's help with a common problem.
In a recent survey of 4,000 Americans with disabilities, 95% said that accessible parking was key to their independence, and 85% said they had trouble finding accessible parking in their communities. More than half (52%) reported having to turn back from an errand or appointment because they were unable to find an open handicapped accessible parking space. Some of the biggest problems were spots taken by people who don't really need them, but make an excuse, and the misuse or borrowing of handicapped placards.
PVA was founded by injured Veterans who returned home from World War II but found barriers to independent living that prevented them from finding jobs or using public transportation. Since then, the organization has worked to create a more accessible America. Sadly, for many with disabilities, daily struggles still exist, particularly when it comes to accessible parking.
"People with disabilities deserve better," says David Zurfluh, U.S. Air Force Veteran and PVA national president. PVA has just launched the Honor the Spot campaign to encourage all Americans to be part of the solution.
"It is about educating the public, who may not realize the impact that misusing these spaces, even for a minute, can have on people with disabilities. We want all Americans to join PVA in protecting the freedom and independence of people with disabilities, who may not be able to shop or go to an appointment if the accessible parking is blocked or misused," says Zurfluh.
Issues with handicapped parking are one of PVA members' biggest complaints, and millions of Americans with mobility disabilities are also affected.
To be part of the solution, the PVA suggests people take these steps:
- Don't park in a handicapped spot for any reason, no matter the excuse.
- Don't share or borrow handicap placards.
- Post using #HonorTheSpot to encourage others.
To learn more and pledge to be part of the solution, visit pva.org/HonorTheSpot.