Sunday, December 25, 2005

1937 Is Detroit differently abled?

Detroit's handicapped stickers, placards and hanging tags are on the increase causing a serious problem for handicapped finding parking places, according to this article in the Detroit News.

"The number of drivers with disability license plates, placards or free-parking decals jumped 17 percent from 2000 to 2004, while the state's population grew only 1.8 percent, according to the U.S. Census. Today, more than 10 percent of Michigan's 7.2 million drivers have a disability designation. The Secretary of State runs the program."

Disability advocates say the causes include growing over-65 age group which grew 10 percent from 1990 to 2000. . . African-Americans and Hispanics nationwide have higher rates of disability and 82% of Detroit residents are black and the city's Hispanic population is growing. . . 33 percent of residents live in poverty and nearly 30 percent of Detroit's workers are employed in the manufacturing, construction and transportation/warehousing industries which tend to have higher rates of injuries.

I might add, if you build them (handicap accessible parking spots) they will come. I don't know how it's done in Michigan, but I know relatives and friends of disabled or elderly people who have the tag and sticker because they supply the transportation. Many disabled people don't drive at all because they can't see or use their arms, legs or hands well enough to drive. However, their drivers don't use the service just when the relative or friend is with them, but all the time just for the convenience of getting a parking place close to a restaurant or shop.

HT to Perry Peterson, another retiree blogger.

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