WESTMINSTER, Colorado – It’s been said that things don’t always appear as they seem. That’s the message of a Colorado mom and her disabled daughter.
The two, who use a handicapped placard, were recently shamed for parking in a handicapped spot.
The small white piece of paper isn’t an advertisement, rather a note shaming Naomi Barringer and her daughter Kaitlyn. “It says, ‘Greetings. I observed you parking in this handicapped parking place today. It appears you’re are not really handicapped. Perhaps just in a hurry or worse, just plain lazy.’ ”
The Westminister, Colorado mother and daughter found the note on their van after stopping by their local Target on Friday afternoon. 10-year-old Kaitlyn says she’s not lazy, but she is in pain often and needs the handicap placard.
“I was offended. I was hurt. Actually, I didn’t know people thought of me like that,” said Kaitlyn.
Kaitlyn has a rare genetic disorder called hypophosphatasia that leaves her bones weak and brittle. She was born with 13 bone fractures and has had dozens more since then.
“I am disabled and they may not know that and I can understand that, because I do look normal. But I don’t think they have to do that,” she said.
“In case you don’t know, these spots are reserved for the truly handicapped and because of idiots like you they have to park further away.”
“Well, I was astonished to read that,” said Aaron Pasterz, who is with the Center for People with Disabilities. He says that just because someone doesn’t look disabled doesn’t mean they’re cheating the system.
“It is a misconception and they don’t know that person’s story,” he said.
Kaitlyn hopes the typed out notes don’t get placed on someone else’s windshield. “This made me really sad, so I feel like I should just try to comfort them and tell them that they aren’t stupid. They aren’t lazy. They have the sign because they need it,” said Barringer. “Even if that need isn’t apparent at first glance.”