Fibromyalgia patient discovers inaccessible parking spots
A fibromyalgia patient was shocked to discover inaccessible parking spots at her school. Yolanda Aqui must use a cane because of her fibromyalgia and arthritis, but parking closer to the building helps her. However, the parking spots reserved for people with disabilities at Merivale High School, located in the Ottawa-Carleton District, were filled with snow.
Yolanda Aqui was surprised to see the only accessible parking spaces at her school were being used as dump sites for the snow from the rest of the parking lot. CBC News reports that Aqui takes night classes at Merivale High School and wasted a significant amount of time searching for a parking spot closer to the building. Her fibromyalgia and arthritis force her to use a cane, and it is difficult for her to walk long distances.
Yolanda Aqui made sure the school principal was aware of the snow piles blocking the accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities. Although the problem was acknowledged, the school blamed the company that was hired to remove the snow. They promised to have it cleared, but Aqui was allowed to use a staff parking spot that was closer to the building.
Unfortunately, blocking accessible parking spots in the winter with snow is a problem that affects more than one area. In North Carolina, multiple handicapped parking spots were recently blocked by large piles of snow. WBTV reports that the problem areas included stores, hospitals, businesses and other parts of Charlotte. Not clearing the snow from handicapped parking spots is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, most states have their own specific laws regarding accessible parking in the winter that penalizes those who do not clear the spaces. Businesses and individuals who do not comply with the law can receive a ticket and a fine.
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