Challenges of Finding Parking When Disabled

All around the world, there are laws that protect the disabled and give them equal rights in all aspects of life.  Twenty seven years ago in the United States the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed which gave disabled people the right to access public places and services just like everybody else. Even with such laws and acts, disabled people still face difficulties in their routine life.  

One of the most common problems that disabled people face is the inability to find a parking space. In Los Angeles, it was reported by disabled people that the most difficult thing they had to face was not finding an appropriate parking space in a city full of cars. Either there are no parking spaces available for the disabled or even if there are spaces reserved for them, these are occupied by the able-bodied constituents of the society. 

At offices and at malls, there are parking spaces reserved for disabled people. These parking spaces are often more near to the office or mall than the regular parking spaces. However, most of the time, these spaces are occupied and misused by other people.  

At offices, malls, and universities, parking spots for the disabled are sometimes placed at such long distances that they eliminate the purpose of helping the disabled altogether  

Another challenge that disabled people face while finding a place to park is that sometimes the curbs beside these parking spots are so high that it becomes difficult for disabled people to even get out of their cars.  

These issues have become so common that governments all over the world have started to hand out handicap parking placards to disabled people. In this way, only those who have these placards can park in the handicapped zone. However, people started to cheat here too. Soon after the initiation of placards, people started to get their hands on them through illegal means. This had become so common that in some countries, hotlines were initiated to report placard abuse. This is the reason why many countries have strict laws and fines against illegal parking in handicapped spots and the misuse of placards. 

The issuance of placards for the disabled has proved to be quite successful in facing these issues. Although placards were widely misused first, the government imposed strict fines over their misuse and was overwhelmingly successful in controlling the misuse of placards. Through such actions, the disabled community has finally found a solution to a neverending hassle 


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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).