Deaf people are being asked to fill out a survey that asks how they feel about being given access to parking spaces that are reserved for people with disabilities.
Although I completed the survey, those who wish to advocate that deaf people are permitted to park in these reserved spaces better think again because I find the whole concept rather preposterous.
The spirit behind reserved parking spots for people with disabilities is to remove a barrier for those who have difficulties with physical mobility. If deaf people (or those with hearing loss) who can drive, park and walk unrestricted using one effectively takes that spot away from someone who needs it.
I can just see it happening. A deaf person cheerfully pulls into a reserved parking spot, hops out and strolls into the store while a vehicle with a wheelchair user inside or a elderly passenger is forced to park a good distance away from the entrance.
Those who campaign for access to these spaces “because we deaf” do the rest of us a disservice because this exceeds the boundaries of reasonable accommodation. Advocating reserved parking privileges emits an egocentric odor that can leave a foul stench on all deaf persons.
We have bigger fish to fry than this. We need to increase the number/use of sign language interpreters/Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART), We need equal access to job opportunities. We have to fight for enhancements to television and movie captioning. So let’s focus on those very important areas rather on something that will recreate a barrier for people who have fought to have it removed in the first place.