AwareNow: Issue 20: The Kind Edition

Page 61

‘TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY MATTHEW WALZER

AN INCONVENIENT CART

ONE’S CONVENIENCE IS ANOTHER’S INCONVENIENCE To Whom It May Concern:

You see them in every parking lot you are in, but before you read any further, ask yourself one question, do you know what the painted white or blue lines next to a handicap spot are for? Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but they’re not for shopping carts.
 I don’t know if it’s just another product of the crazy world we are living in, but more and more lately, I’ve seen shopping carts left on the painted lines of handicap spots, or even worse, IN THE SPOTS THEMSELVES. The white lines aren’t for shopping carts, they are for something far more important.
 You may not realize, but a shopping cart left on painted lines can inhibit a person who uses a wheelchair, scooter, canes, walker, or other mobility device from getting in or out of their car safely and at their own pace, or in some cases, from crossing the street.
 I have an adaptive van with a wheelchair ramp on the rear passenger side. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of times I’ve not been able to park in a handicap spot because of a shopping cart, garbage can (yes this actually happened) or other inanimate object left where it doesn’t belong. I and many others with disabilities, can’t just jump out of our car, move the shopping cart, and then get back in the car and park in the spot. It’s too big of a safety hazard and a highly unnecessary hassle before we even set foot at our destination. 
 Next time you leave a store, consider taking those 30 extra seconds and move your cart where it should go, not where you feel like it should go. Please don’t make your convenience our inconvenience.
 I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I hope that this piece serves as a reminder that a small act of kindness can go a long way.
 Best Regards,

Matthew Walzer

MATTHEW WALZER

Public Speaker, Advocate for Universal Design & Ambassador for Disability Awareness
 www.awarenessties.us/matthew-walzer Catalyst in helping Nike develop and design its FlyEase line of adaptive footwear. Matthew Walzer is a strong public speaker and advocate for universal design and the disability community. Having accepted numerous awards for from organizations such as The ARC and United Cerebral Palsy, Matthew has also spoken at the White House at an inclusive design event under The Obama Administration. Matthew currently serves as an Official Columnist for AwareNow Magazine and an Official Ambassador for Awareness Ties where he works to raise awareness.

61 AWARENOW / THE KIND EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com