The universal symbol for being handicapped is a blue and white placard with a wheelchair symbol. This designation helps disabled people locate handicap parking, handicapped bathrooms, and more. It’s also intended to put non-handicapped people on notice that such parking spaces are reserved for those displaying proper permits.
Unfortunately, this symbol is so connected to the public’s idea of “disabled” that it may be doing the disabled community a disservice and may actually be placing some of its members in harm’s way.
As those who have applied for social security disability benefits from the federal government know all too well, not all disabilities are physical in nature and not all disabilities are visible.
In fact, there is an extensive list of both physical and mental conditions that the government recognizes as qualifying for federal disability benefits. Examples of some physical conditions include Multiple sclerosis, cancer, Crohns’ disease and more. Some examples of qualifying mental conditions include PTSD, anxiety disorders, bi-polar disorder, OCD, depression, and more.
A woman suffering from multiple sclerosis since 2012 allegedly recently became a victim of which she reportedly described as a hate crime after she parked her car in a handicapped spot with her handicap permit displayed. Upon returning to her car she found it covered in feces and remembered receiving dirty looks from people nearly at the time she parked there—looks that implied she wasn’t actually handicapped because she didn’t “look” handicapped.
Not everyone who is disabled or handicapped is wheelchair-bound. This is one reason why a change in the universal handicapped symbol is being considered. Life has enough challenges for many disabled people and it’s disheartening to hear of such alleged actions against legitimately disabled people.
If you need help applying for Social Security disability benefits or appealing a denial of benefits, the disability attorneys of Arizona at Roeschke Law can help you. It’s all we do. Contact us today for a free consultation.
With offices in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson, Arizona, we represent disabled clients and their families in all aspects of disability law.