Parking for people with disabilities: It's A Necessity

Parking Permit Program for People with Disabilities
From SPARC - Social Planning and Research Council

Last Update: 09.01.1997

What is the Parking Permit Program for People with Disabilities?

The Parking Permit Program, operated by the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C., issues parking permits to enable people with disabilities to legally park in designated zones throughout British Columbia. The program works to ensure accessibiliy for all in the communiy. Since 1985, the program has issued over 65,000 permits, averaging about sixty per day.

Why do people with disabilities need special parking ?

Special parking allows people with mobility impairments to have access to buildings and services in the community. The people who qualify for parking pemmits either need the extra width of the special stalls to get in and out of their vehicles when using a wheelchair, crutches, or canes, or need to park close to a building entrance because their health prevents them from walkinq very far.

Did You know...

A person commits an offense under Division 38 of the Motor Vehicles Act pertaining to Disabled Persons' Parking Permits who:

What does a valid Permit look like ?

The permit is made of whiee plastic and has the blue and white accessibility wheelchair symbol on it. There is a hook so the pemmit can hang from a rear-view mirror. Each permit also has a registraeion number and an expiry date.

How is a valid Parking Permit obtained ?

If you have a mobility impairment, ask your doctor or call SPARC of B.C. for a parking permit application form. The form should be filled out in your name by both you and your doctor. Check to make sure that the form has been completed correctly and mail it to SPARC. A carefully completed application accompanied by the nominal application fee can be processed within a few days.

What are the criteria for receiving a Permit ?

Anyone with a permanent or temporary disability who needs an extra wide parking space in order to get in and out of their vehicle, or who cannot walk more than 100 meters (about 300 feet), or who is blind would be eligible for a permit.
The volunteer Advisory Committee for the Parking Permit Program for People with Disabilities establishes the criteria for eligibility and oversees the operations of the Parking Permit Program.

I do not have a disability, but I drive people who do. Do I qualify for a permit ?

No. All applications are completed in the name of the person who has a disabiliy. That person is responsible for the permit. If the applicant is unable to be responsible for the permit, then someone with power of attomey, a family member, or friend may act as a designate and fill out the application on behalf of the person with a disability.

The organization I work for transports people with disabilities. Do we qualify for a Permit ?

Maybe. Organizations which transport several people with disabilities will sometimes qualify. Phone the SPARC Office for more information and the proper application form.

I broke my leg and need crutches. Can I get a Permit ?

Yes. Temporary permits can be obtained. Your doctor must specify on the application form a date vvhen you will recover or be reassessed. This would become the expiry date of your Permit.

How long is my Permit good for ?

Permanent permits are good for three years. You will receive a renewal notice in the mail, so it is important to keep SPARC informed of any address changes. Temporary permits are good unbl the date specified by your doctor.

Can I lend my Permit to my spouse, friend or anyone else who also has a disability ?

No. it is illegal to lend your permit to anyone and, if you do so, it may be taken avvay from you. Parking permits are issued to individuals. and may only be used when the permit holder leaves the vehicle.

Where is my Permit valid ?

Your SPARC parking permit is valid throughout Canada. If you are planning to travel outside of Canada. you should check with the authorities where you will be staying.

The Permit Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is a group of volunteers committed to ensuring the maintenance and enforcement of a standard system of parking for people with disabilities in B.C.
The committee is composed of people from various regions of the province and provincial organizations representing people with disabilities such as: B.C. Parapleglc Association, B.C. Coalition of People with Disabilities, Kinsmen Rehabilitation Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Seniors Resource and Research Society, and the Stroke Assoclation of B.C.

The Social Planning and Research Council of BC

SPARC of B.C. is a voluntary association of people committed to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of our citizens and communities. SPARC was incorporated as a non-profit society in 1966, and has worked on accessibility issues since 1969.

SPARC Membership

Your membership support or donation helps better our work on disability issues and on social issues that affect all British Columbians. Membership in SPARC also includes a free subscription to SPARC News: Community Affairs in British Co!umbia. Any contribubon will be appreciated and is a tax credit.

For more information

         The Social Planning and Research Council of B.C.
         106 - 2182 West 12th Ave.
         Vancouver, B.C. V6K 2N4
         Phone: (604) 736-4367

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