Disrespecting the Disabled

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Senator Kerryann Ifill

Senator Kerryann Ifill, president of the Council For The Disabled

It is simple theft; the stealing of precious space –– parking spots reserved for the handicapped or disabled of our community. And the more we talk about it, the worse it seems to get.

Advocates for the disabled –– not least among them the president of the Council For The Disabled, Senator Kerryann Ifill herself –– say fines for the able-bodied who illegally park in the spots for the handicapped should be twice or triple what they are now. A few have recommended instead a mandatory seven days in jailBarbados Today

First of all let me congratulate “Barbados Today” for a well-written editorial. It is despicable for hard-backed men and women to park in spots reserved for the handicapped. I have noticed that mainly males park in such spots. Females tend to desist from breaking this law, as they do with most of our laws!

Of all the reasons for so doing, laziness takes first place. He who dares ask the perpetrators why they are parking in that spot will get a mouthful of the vilest invectives he/she has ever heard. However, this should be ignored, because it only shows a lack of vocabulary. I think that parking in such spots can be seen as violating the human rights of the handicapped, and such cases should be dealt with accordingly.

I would suggest a mandatory three-month stay as a guest of Her Majesty at her beautiful hotel in Dodds. I would also add one week of community service in a high-traffic location like Oistins, where the culprits will be tagged with “I parked in a handicapped parking spot”, with writing large enough to be seen from a way off.

Unfortunately the “love thy neighbour as yourself” went through the window on 30 November, 1966, because many do not know what Independence really is. Politicians are trying to blame the churches, but they still play a pivotal role in our country. It was the politicians who took religion out of the schools in their blind eagerness to follow Britain and the EU countries.

The old people always say, ” Follow pattern kill Cadogan!”. We follow too much instead of leading!

Right now our country needs a new crop of leaders, but there is not one to be seen – either in the BLP or the DLP camp. It is: “SIX OF ONE AND HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER.” You have Government ministers giving pretty speeches, but are not living up to what they preach, and there are Opposition members doing the same. So, to whom should the younger generation look up?

You have a Government minister banning teachers’ unions from school premises. One must be very wary when someone advocates banning unions, because that is a very slippery slope and can lead to anarchy and the muzzling of the press. Another is talking about the “rot” in Jamaica, and thinks that nothing is wrong with that. Our Minister of Finance can make disparaging remarks about the leader of the Opposition, and the Prime Minister backs him up for not apologising!

This Government has driven so much fear into the youth of this country that they are afraid of demonstrating against something that is to their disadvantage. In not one of these has the relevant minister shown any love for his neighbour. On the contrary, the venom with which the words were uttered leaves much to be desired!

Then again the members of this Government are in stand-your-ground mode, which means that they do not have to make apologies for anything as they are infallible. There are too many godfathers/godmothers in our country, and also too much nepotism. These things have nothing whatsoever to do with loving your neighbour. In fact, they tend to bring about the opposite, because those who should really get the jobs don’t.That is why there so many square pegs in round holes in Barbados – and this pervades throughout our society, whether in the public or private sector.

But, as you said in your editorial, there are the untouchable big-ups, and so we can wait till the cows come home, and nothing will change in that respect. This attitude towards the disabled in our society is the epitome of callousness, and should be countered with the same hard-heartedness that the perpetrators show towards our disabled sisters and brothers.

They give no quarter, and none should be given them!

This is NOT  the kind of situation where one should turn the other cheek. When we get laws in this country whereby one is convicted no matter what his/her status is, then this country will be ready for First World status.


65 thoughts on “Disrespecting the Disabled

  1. It is very disturbing to see on a daily basis strong able bodied MEN parking in spots reserved for the disabled. PriceSmart is a prime example of this where Taxi drivers in particular are guilty of this.
    I tackled one last week and he got particularly “pissed off” when I challenged him and became abusive. I told that I was sorry to have confronted him as I now realized that his disability was not visible.

    I know that that remark went over his head.

  2. Have we got laws in place to fine or jail fit persons who park in parking spaces reserved for the disabled? As far as I know , those laws are in the same promised statute book , as those pertaining to Indiscriminate Burning of Refuse , Drunk Driving, Excessive Noise and Obnoxious Emissions from motor vehicles. The present situation is not a command, but a request. Until we make hard and fast laws pertaining to these items, all we or the police a can do when we see others not complying, is to beg/request that they show a some consideration towards others.

    • IF the authorities refuse to treat with these kinds of matters seriously what do you expect from the citizenry? Hell, we can’t even stop the killing of women and the molesting of our children by adults charged with our trust.

  3. Sorry – and NO disrespect for anyone – I think this post is over-the -top.

    Perhaps someone will articulate what a ‘disabled person’ is for the purposes of a parking space.

    • @Ross

      Don’t you think a good place to start the definition is to regard those who are normal as not qualifying for disabled parking privileges? Sometime it is about using commonsense.

  4. LOL @ Ross
    …you can always trust a lawyer to fcuk up any simple plan with trivia.
    Wunna would be shocked to know that it is likely such a question that would have stumped our 30 parliamentarians and delayed any such law.
    …of course the answer is simply that “DISABLED” means any vehicle with the authorized disable parking sticker attached to the windshield 🙂

  5. Oh dear….physical/mental….normal/abnormal…..they take us nowhere.

    Case 1

    I injured my leg playing football and since I am heavily bandaged I can only walk with a stick.

    Case 2

    I am heavily arthritic and walking is painful. I have to hold my wife’s arm to walk but I can drive.

    Case 3

    I am 14. I just fell over and my knee is bleeding.

    Case 4 (to please Mark Fenty who is trying to be a smart ass)

    I have a very low IQ. There is nothing obviously wrong with me and my walking ability is not impaired .

    Case 5

    I am 99yo.

    Case 6

    I am six weeks out from having my second hip replacement operation but can drive.

    Case 7

    I suffer from very low blood pressure so that if I have to walk too far I get dizzy and may fall over.

    In other words, my very dear FRIENDS, do you have to be blind like Kerryann to qualify, or one legged – in other words the very obvious physical things?

    Now I am quite sure that Kerryann would reject totally the idea (which seemingly David wants to push) that she is “abnormal” – and, indeed, my understanding is that the Council for the Disabled would say that merely because you have those rather obvious physical conditions does not mean that so far as possible you should not be treated like everyone else and most certainly should not be discriminated against (especially for employment purposes). In other words, the ‘official’ disabled line is: ‘we don’t want your pity; we are normal people like you are’. And I agree totally with that.

    But I’ll come back to this.

    • @Ross

      If you are temporarily incapacitated go to the office of the disabled and procure a sticker. There is a procedure to follow to get compliant.

  6. David

    Are you really a mindless bureaucrat?

    I fell over playing football this afternoon and can hardly walk. I want to buy provisions from Carlton. Before I can use s disabled space I must go to the ministry.

    Give me a break fella.

  7. Rotfl @ RR
    Man since you neutered Amused you have become the most amusing contributor on BU…. 🙂

    Skippa….. If you fell over playing football and “can hardly walk” you are INJURED not handicapped. Best to haul ya tail to a doctor…..and look for some golf clubs – or some other sissy sport to play.

    If you DONT have a sticker you DONT have a park …..comprendez? 🙂

  8. Ross, anything below an IQ of 70 is considered intellectually disabled. But, those persons at the higher end of the spectrum are quite capable of operating motorcars and things of that nature.

  9. Being disabled goes far beyond the physical aspect of the subject. The mental/ intellectual aspect of the disability, we often seem to ignore but it is just as impotant as the physical aspect. A person who suffers a ( TBI ) Traumatic Brain Injury such as a cerebrovascular accident like a Stoke etc, can lose some of their cognitive function and end up being labeled as Intellectually – Disabled.

  10. OK – now stickers

    There are two sorts of parking spaces, public and private.

    To park in a public car park there is normally a fee and so, clearly, if you wish to avoid payment or to claim the right to a designated place or both you would need a sticker as corroboration of the claim to be disabled or some other form of corroboration contingent on the ‘house rules’ of the car park. It would be open in the event of breach to stipulate a fine. I’ve never had to apply for a sticker and so I guess you would have to request a GP to provide evidence that you are, in fact, disabled and the concept of that would vary with the circumstances as the GP perceived them to be and as the public authority will accept. Certainly, in some of the cases I mentioned above stickers are carried even though the situation is not what David calls ‘abnormal’ which is why I listed them in the way I did.

    Privately owned car parks raise different considerations. The site owner would doubtless be entitled to put up a notice to the effect that vehicles using designated places but not carrying a sticker may be clamped or removed – but I doubt that they would. As Colonel says or implies above there are no recognized criminal offences committed where someone not ‘disabled’ parks in a designated place in a privately owned car park. Parking is thus, as he suggests, a matter of ‘goodwill’ and I cannot imagine for a moment that the site owner would object if, in some of the cases I mentioned, cars were parked in designated places. I am thinking, particularly, of BT’s remarks about people with injuries who need to seek medical treatment.

    That this is correct seems to me inevitable given the number of designated parking places in some supermarkets. At Carlton there are, perhaps, 8-9 places opposite the main entrance. Unless you have a wheel-chair convention inside it is difficult to see how all those places are necessary UNLESS they are intended for a wide variety of people with the sort of problems I mentioned who might have difficulty carrying food merchandise very far and whether they have stickers or not. In other words, you don’t have to be registered as disabled in order to receive the benefit of the space.

    As for the idea of ‘theft’ of the parking place – err…..well, I don’t think that one holds as I’ll say later.

    One thing though. As I said at the beginning, I think this post is over-the-top. That does NOT MEAN I am unsympathetic to the disabled in any way whatsoever. Nor am I suggesting that we should not exercise every degree of consideration possible in matters of this kind. Oh yes, I am still waiting to see whether David will modify his concept of a disabled person as an ‘abnormal’ person.

  11. Bush Tea, I really enjoy your excusable display of puerility. It shows quite clearly, the principles, values, and convictions that governs your thought process.

  12. Thanks Mark….
    The fact that you would draw conclusions from Bushie’s puerility speaks volumes… The bushman was merely doing as one is instructed “when in Rome”…

    …and BTW Bushie thoroughly enjoys your insurmountable ability to sound rational while saying absolutely nothing, and being about as logical as ac….
    Ya too sweet!!

  13. It is politically incorrect to use the word Handicapped in association with the people who are physically and intellectually disabled.

  14. Bush Tea, one ought to look a great deal at oneself, before thinking of condemning an other. And this idea of marginalizing others in an effort to aggrandized oneself, speaks to a mentality that is lacking in self – esteem obviously.

  15. Bush Tea, it also seems as though you’re gifted with an egotistical imagination that at times leads you into a fault sense of reality, because you’re obviously overestimating your intellect as you seek to underestimate mine.

    • @Ross Are you for real?

      Carlton having 8 spaces reserve for disabled persons means just that, it is not open to your interpretation.

  16. @Anthony Davis “It was the politicians who took religion out of the schools in their blind eagerness to follow Britain and the EU countries.”

    But religion hasn’t been taken out of the schools. There is religion (to wit Christianity) in every school every day in Barbados. Sometime several times a day.

  17. @Anthony Davis “You have a Government minister banning teachers’ unions from school premises.”

    Not true. No Government minister has the authority nor the power to ban teacher’s unions from school premises.

  18. Oh since SS has started me off – you can’t have theft of a space which you neither own, possess nor control. It is not “property belonging to another”.

  19. Nor would there be dishonesty if, as in my cases above, the person who parked without a permit believed a supermarket owner would consent if he knew all the circumstances.

  20. OK SS…there’s FOUR ANGELS. Why don’t you now use your massive intellect and try and find more or less angels or, for that matter, shoot mine off the pinhead.

    Oh and David…but no never mind.

  21. “Not true. No Government minister has the authority nor the power to ban teacher’s unions from school premises.”

    Mr Jones has not refuted or denied the reports in the papers attributing the remarks of instructing Principals not to allow Unions on the school premises so I have to assume that they are true because the combative Minister would not have allowed the reports to go unchallenged. So are you saying then that the Minister is so dumb that he does not know the extent of his authority.

  22. “It is simple theft; the stealing of precious space –– parking spots reserved for the handicapped or disabled of our community. And the more we talk about it, the worse it seems to get.”

    I do a lot of shopping and I hardly see disabled or handicapped shopping far less unlike metropolitan countries using mobile mechanisms which would require parking facility to move around; but knowing how quick it is for us Bajans to embrace and jump on bandwagons even those irrelevant to our own circumstances, I avoid for the sake of peace not the disabled using even those spaces designated for the disabled which I can categorically say are never used. The spaces in the Guardian general car park for example.

    • Whether the disabled parking spaces are used is not the point. There is a moral obligation to make the space available. Have we become so selfish to want to ignore this group in our planning? A check with the Disabled Council will show we have people who qualify for the status of ‘disabled ‘. We have become an insensitive society when we need to debate the pros and cons of this issue.

  23. David

    Balance is ABSOLUTELY right. But so are you. Interestingly, however, it is RR who advocates compassion to all types of ‘challenged’ people NOT you.

    It is NOT a question of debating the pros and cons or being insensitive as you suggest. That is simply a device for you to demonstrate on your chest what you regard as your social concern as if to say that it is exclusive to you and others do not share that concern. Yet you regard the disabled as ‘abnormal’ – and I don’t think that Kerryann – who can see better than most with sight – would thank you for it.

    But one other thing. You cannot DICTATE what people should think or say. Your talk of the ‘BU household’, as if to say it represents the view of kocher people on this site, is simply misplaced in a DEMOCRACY. Or don’t you subscribe to that ‘western’ concept? Don’t put up posts if you don’t want them ‘debated’ in the broad sense – and when you do DON’T tell us what to think or belittle those who do not agree with you. Help us to work it out for ourselves by all means – but not with a gun at our heads, else you are really no better than those you regularly criticize.

  24. The smart answer David is not very smart I’m afraid. But then, as usual, you make my case for me. Thankyou.

  25. very interesting however i do agree with davids point. also on ross point of ones right to express their opinins without feeling a sense of threat i would absolutely agree………The disabled like all citizens do pay taxes .however as a those persons with a disavatange against the normalties which are easily accessible to the able bodied i see absolutely no wrong no harm done in a society extending a helping hand towards them . the pointless excuses exhibited by comments are selfserving an tasteless

  26. I have just spoken with Andrew Bynoe.

    He confirms my distinction between public and private car parks and is adamant that though parking in the Carlton spaces is often abused they are there on compassionate grounds for those who cannot walk easily very far. He described the idea that you have to have a displayed permit in his complex as “stupid” and included those with recent injuries.

    So sorry to tell ya, boys……seems I was right.

  27. AC

    No one so far as I recollect on this post has made excuses for the able bodied taking spaces intended for those who are ‘challenged’ – certainly not me.

  28. “Whether the disabled parking spaces are used is not the point”

    Yes, that is exactly the point especially as it relates to the limited provision of parking space for one reason or another to accommodate abled persons having to waste valuable time looking for parking to conduct regular business when there is unused space hardly or ever used lying idle. Isn’t there a moral obligation for adequate parking to be provide for all first and then select groups disabled or otherwise afterwards? These self-serving platitudes in my view pale into insignificance when juxtaposed with the despicable treatment that is known to be meted out to elderly relatives perhaps even by some of those who hypocritically shed crocodile tears over an issue because it has now become fashionable to do so.
    What I find immoral is the First Schedule of the Immigration Act Cap 190 which among other things deem ‘ dumb, blind, physically handicapped” persons prohibited persons

  29. Oh sorry balance

    Your point about elderly relatives is well taken and, indeed, has been a special concern of Kerryann and the Council for the Disabled. Ditto the treatment of those who are mentally challenged in a family setting.

    In focusing attention exclusively on permits and spaces we are, at least in my view, merely demonstrating our Pharisaism, our small and narrow mindedness, and I think that, in essence, that is what you are trying to say. It is the difference between law and equity, and those ‘bleeding hearts’ like David represent law I’m afraid since what they bleed, on analysis, is only water. So now, David, where is the chalice?

  30. @ Ross
    It is clear why Bushie is warming to you… (But don’t get no funny ideas…)
    Unlike Amused, who presents a COMPLETELY FALSE picture of what a typical lawyer represents by standing for transparency, truth, fairness and honesty, YOU truly depict the classic character of the lawyer…..
    Shiite man…. Bushie is fully impressed at how you have been able to take a simple matter of reserving a special parking space that is designed to accommodate someone who may be using a wheelchair, crutch or similar aid, into a complex legal quagmire that will require extensive study, consultations – and possible hearings, before a white paper is drawn up outlining the 1000 or so acceptable excuses to park in such a spot.

    We will then have the result of numerous security guards putting lashes in those whose excuses failed to win the guard’s favour (and as you would guess, Mr Andrew Bynoe will not be on hand to resolve the matter)….but of course – then we will need lawyers to sort THAT out too …..won’t we…?

    You is a boss Ross…in the same league as David of BU is, in keeping a Blog HOT HOT HOT

    …much respect from the bushman 🙂

  31. ROSS isuspect all the examples which you gave as excuses. nevertheless it goes back to your” tacky” and tasetless efforts in the attack of law for the disable.

  32. BT

    Lol…why thankyou…err I think….err

    It has occurred to me that David may be as he is precisely to keep the post ‘hot’…and I wouldn’t blame him for that.

  33. There is no level playing field when it comes to the disable. The laws provide such a field and for u Ross to throw everything into a law that specifically mandate the necessity for “accessibilty” a key and important component of the law in aiding the disable expose your overzealous reaction and not one of good lawyering.

  34. AC…old fella

    You know…you are far too intelligent not to understand what I’ve been about so do stop trying to kid everyone you’re not.

  35. BT

    Just a quick remark because I have to go. IF you’re really interested in how the legal process works I’ll try and explain it. But just let me say this now.

    All the great cases of the law have been decided as they were because of the free enterprise in argument of lawyers whose interests, for the most part, did not go beyond the winning of today’s case. Lawyers are not, as such, social therapists. They are combative creatures who understand that the law is not, as commonly supposed, fixed and certain however tidy it may appear, or be supposed, to be. There is always a shifting element. The concepts with which we work are open textured. They do not operate as mathematical calculations – else nothing would ever reach the courts.

    In one of Lord Denning’s books he makes special mention of an old friend of mine, Huw Laddie, who, he says, was instrumental in arguing for and fashioning what we know as the Anton Piller Order. That’s the source for change and innovation….me, as you might say, Amused and all the other pedlars of argumentation and even sophistry before our courts who write on here. The process is, if you like, an attempt to create order, understanding and, yes, even right in situations as disparate as clouds. And that is why originally I was very careful to frame the question in the way I did, viz “Who is a disabled person for the purposes of a parking space?” And that is why you are right to say..’Yes, but what if a security guard intervenes and….’. Because in life THAT is precisely how issues arise for determination.
    Or to put it another way…’Is a flying boat a plane or a boat? or “Is a child’s bike a ‘vehicle’ for the purposes of a rule which says ‘Vehicles are not allowed on the pavement?’

  36. Look Rosss ur pupose to open other aveues in the case of the DIsable is a useless futile attempt. take the issue of parking spot and availabilty.if one reckons time into it most likely than not that parking space would be unaviable to the disable one because of the frequency of use by the “able bodied” making it an almost avialabilty to the Disable w on any giving day or time.

  37. Balance did Barbados copy its immigration laws from T&T?


    Except as provided in subsection (2), entry into
    Trinidad and Tobago of the persons described in this subsection,
    other than citizens and, subject to section 7(2), residents, is
    prohibited, namely—
    persons who are idiots, imbeciles, feeble-
    minded persons, persons suffering from
    dementia and insane persons, and who are likely
    to be a charge on public funds;
    persons afflicted with any infectious or
    dangerous infectious disease;
    persons who are dumb, blind or otherwise
    physically defective, or physically handicapped,
    which might endanger their ability to earn a
    livelihood, or render them likely to become
    charges on public funds;
    persons who have been convicted of or admit
    having committed any crime, which if committed
    in Trinidad and Tobago would be punishable with
    imprisonment for one or more years;
    prostitutes, homosexuals or persons living on
    the earnings of prostitutes or homosexuals, or
    persons reasonably suspected as coming to
    Trinidad and Tobago for these or any other
    immoral purposes;
    persons who are reasonably suspected of
    attempting to bring into
    Trinidad and Tobago or
    of procuring prostitutes or other persons for the
    purpose of prostitution or homosexual or other
    immoral purposes;
    habitual beggars or vagrants;
    persons who are likely to become charges on
    public funds;
    persons who are chronic alcoholics;
    persons who are addicted to the use of any drug;

  38. Another point which you seem intent on forming a conclusive opinon is defination of Disable. One can reasonably argue that there are Varying degrees and causes involved but one cannot get around the fact of the pemanant or temporay state which would defined disabilty or handicapped

  39. @ Ross
    You know …..your problem is that you are a bit too deep for mass consumption… Little more, and you would be expounding on the attributes of BBE and getting dissed like Bushie…. Lol

    OK….you point about the legal role in expanding the limits of our reality is taken. However you know FULL WELL that ..as is the case in all areas of life…most lawyers have little – if any- interest in that kind of contribution.
    You done know that the only thing most of your pals care about expanding is their bank accounts and their waist lines…

    With all the lawyers in Barbados….apart from you, Amused, the occasional Jeff Cumberbatch and of course ac’s husband (when he is not in Arizona ) how many offer their perspectives or solutions in the public domain?
    How many seek to provide guidance to the many issues raised here on BU and in the traditional press…?

    Have to admit however, that you raise an interesting role that could and should be played by your profession…

  40. @ Islandgal
    Of late balance does seem to have become OFFbalance.
    LOL Ha Ha…..
    ..somehow Bushie feel that that was caused by one erice……. 🙂

    A country is just an extended family grouping. It is GOOD to have new entries to the family from time to time….HOWEVER there must be some level of compatibility.
    Over the years endless new Bajans joined our family ….and endless Bajans left here to join other families. When those who came here and who chose to become BAJAN…there is NO ISSUE AT ALL.
    …and mostly when bajans leave here – they QUICKLY adapt to fit their NEW homeland (picking up habits, accents etc. overnight)..as they should.

    The PROBLEM comes when OUTSIDERS want to come here into our family home, and remain OUTSIDERS….
    …as man Onions …dat mek sense to you?

    A fellow move into your house – but he bringing HIS ways from his old place to change your home?
    …best haul!
    If you coming to Rome be prepared to do as we Romans do..

  41. Bushie – To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven- I shall not be moved.

    • Why do we generalize? Issues which have cropped up must be dealt with in context. The COP needs to expand on his statement.

  42. BT

    ‘Lawyers have little interest……’: agreed – beyond winning, and that’s the point. For the rest, I was writing to you so mass consumption didn’t come into it – but I do know what you mean.

    However, you see, who knows, my little whispers may just tickle some ear ready to be tickled. Consider the following sentence written by ac –
    “One can reasonably argue that there are varying degrees…but one cannot get round the fact of….”
    Does that sound like the pathetic, dyslexic ac we all love and, on Thursdays, moon over? NO. Most definitely an ear ready to be tickled.

  43. so ross in your wild eye view and closely watched analytical conclusion u might one day even suggest that even handicapped animals should be allowed special parking space, before u answer think that the animal might be driven by a person with special needs.

  44. Our point of departure should be that everybody is ‘disabled’. Some disabled by slavery others by some form of impairment others to be disabled by all types of disease and ‘old age’. The country has to disengage from puritanical notions of normalcy. In addition there is a new morality emerging that will leave Barbados behind, as usual. In this new morality there will be no room for any type of discrimination at law. Indeed there are places in the world were large law suits will be filed if, for example, public transport systems are not accessible to all people. In the work place, if employers do not have a representative sample of people with disabilities, questions would be asked of the courts. And on and on. Unfortunately in Barbados, There is a perverse notion of the survival of the fittest.

  45. “Pachamama”
    I only hope that I am not disabled in any way shape or form prescribed by the common understanding of society.

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