Stop Assuming I’m Not Disabled Just Because I Don’t “Look Disabled”

Disability Parking


By Rachel Carrington in Rooted in Rights.


I park my car in a parking space reserved for those with disabilities. My door is barely open before I’m confronted by a woman who demands to see my handicap parking placard. Her mother is disabled, and she needs the space. I point her toward my tag with its blue drawing of a wheelchair then start walking to the doors of the pharmacy. She calls after me, telling me I could have borrowed the car I’m driving, that it’s probably not mine. Because I don’t look disabled.

Unfortunately, so much of our society is focused on appearance. You have to look the part, and if you don’t, then you can’t possibly be what you claim to be. If you’re overweight, there’s no way you can be a dancer. If you are heavily tattooed, you can’t be a lawyer. If you have disfiguring scars, you can’t be a model. While all of these myths have been debunked, there is one that hangs on with tenacity. If you don’t look disabled, you’re obviously not disabled.


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