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Handicapped Placards: Be Slow to Criticize

May 12, 2003

Re "Handicap That Allows Parking Isn't Always Obvious," May 6: Here we go again. How quickly people judge others when it comes to handicapped placards. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and there are good and bad days. I usually don't use the handicapped placard on my good days, but on days when a hip or knee flares up, I am in pain and I don't necessarily limp.

I also have another reason to use my handicapped placard: Every morning I park in a Metrolink park-and-ride lot and the spaces fill up early in the day, but the handicapped spaces do not. I park in a handicapped space so that a regular space is freed up for someone who does not have a placard.

Jan Rasmussen

Lakewood

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Our family also had a sad experience when we took my disabled mother out. A group of people accosted us for using her placard. One particularly furious woman verbally abused my terminally ill mother. It turned out to be the second-to-last time Mom set her one remaining foot outside. All we wanted to do was take her to shop for a gift. I guess Mom's big mistake was to wear makeup and a wig and not wear an "I am an amputee" sign. She died a few weeks later. Please, folks, all disabilities are not immediately apparent.

Mikal Sandoval

Pacific Palisades

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