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Mum with disabled daughter tired of inconsiderate drivers

NOT RIGHT: Amber Countryman, pictured with her son Rye, her husband Jason and her disabled daughter Rainey, is fed up with people abusing disabled parks.
NOT RIGHT: Amber Countryman, pictured with her son Rye, her husband Jason and her disabled daughter Rainey, is fed up with people abusing disabled parks. Allan Reinikka Rokaparking

WITH a backpack flung over her shoulder, a walking frame in one arm, a child's hand attached to the other and pushing a wheelchair Amber Countryman walked two blocks.

Parking in a disabled car space may seem harmless at the time, but as this Rockhampton mother-of-two knows all too well it can have a big impact.

Amber's four year old daughter, Rainey, suffers from spina bifida - a condition which means she needs to use a wheelchair when she goes out.

"People should be happy to be able to walk," Amber said.

"Give those who can't a park... you can't do anything to change their situation so it's the least you can do."

But able-bodied motorists nabbing designated parks aren't the only problem Amber has encountered.

Recently, she was appalled to find several trolleys left in a disabled car space at a shopping centre.

"I can still lift her (Rainey) in and out if needed, but being in our situation has made me a lot more aware of what people with a disability require," she said.

Amber said she was lucky she could get out and move the trolleys, but for some it would have meant circling the shops for another disabled park or going home.

"It's just lazy," she said.

"People need to realise they're actually preventing someone else from doing their shopping, or going to a café and meeting up with a friend.

"It might be a once a month thing for them, it might be the highlight of their month. It's very essential (disabled people) have car spaces available to them or they can't live their life."

Amber said disabled parks were often close to access ramps, so if they weren't available a long walk just to get up the curb could be in order.

She said it was also important to realise a person's disability may not always be obvious.

"People who have a permit haven't made that decision, it's up to the doctors," she said.

Amber said she wanted to raise awareness of the issue, so her little girl would have one less thing to worry about when she grows up.

"It's all ahead of her," she said.

Topics:  disability, disabled parking, mother, rockhampton, spina bifida



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