I was driving to a supermarket one day and looking for a vacant mobility carpark. The only carpark free of cars was rudely occupied by a shopping trolley.
When I asked a carpark attendant to please move the trolley, he didn’t move it right away. Instead, he told me “only people in wheelchairs can park here”. That’s not true, and I had a mobility parking permit on my car to prove it.
As it happens, though, I do use a wheelchair, just not while I’m in the car. Contrary to the attendant’s assumption, many wheelchair users can, in fact, drive with modified controls.
We need an Accessibility Act that amends and enforces disability parking regulations to make sure that mobility parking is kept available for those of us who need to use it; not occupied by shopping trolleys. I should be able to get on with my shopping, without having to do that advocacy myself.
This is my access story, it is one of many. I'm sharing it because I want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.