Lubbock group pushes to remove 'handicap' from parking signs

"Handicap parking" is just one of the labels seen on signs, but a Lubbock non-profit group would prefer the signs not have the label.
thumb_1302531233218_0p1711460023110195.jpgSome may view the word "handicap" as harmless but for some living with a disability it's a negative label they'd like to erase.

"You know the language that we use can be a tell tale sign of how we think," says Michelle Crain, who works with Hub City Access. "Our attitude of things."

The group's mission is to try to make the city of Lubbock more accessible to those in wheelchairs. They want the businesses in the community to opt for parking signs without the word "handicap".

"You have your signs where it says reserved parking and accessible parking or van accessible parking," says Crain. "Just do away with handicap."

The campaign for the makeover begins Monday as the organization plans to contact businesses asking for the change.

"We do go out and spend money in our community and anytime we see a sign we would ask the business to replace the signs," explains Crain. "And if know if they agree to replace and cannot, it's something we will look into doing at our own expense."

Monica Pratt, disabled all her life, says this push is part of something more than just parking.

"When you label people as handicap it's like putting a handicap on their ability and so you want to replace that label with something more positive," says Pratt. She says awareness is key to making a better future for those who are disabled now and those who may acquire a disability later in life.

"Somebody you do know, maybe you don't have a disability but somebody may acquire a disability if they don't have a disability now but in the future as you become older you may have a disability," says Pratt. "Think about how you live now and how you want to live in the future."

That future, Pratt and Crain can both agree, starts now.
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