From Lauredhel of Hoyden About Town comes this notice of intended changes to the criteria for using handicapped spaces:
The government is proposing a national harmonisation of disabled parking schemes. Sounds great on the surface, doesn’t it? But they’re going to throw independent people with disabilities (PWD) who aren’t wheelchair or scooter users to the wolves. People who can walk without physical assistance from another person, with or without a cane, no matter how restricted their walking distance, will no longer have access to accessible parking.
There is more information on the Hoyden’s site about who to contact and how if you are in Australia. This new criteria can completely limit the access of some people currently living w/ invisible illnesses who are not always, but could sometimes be, limited by the limits of their own disabilities. Helping PwDs shouldn’t be about restricting access, but about making sure that the world is accessible for all people, regardless of whether or not they need physical assistance all the time or require the use of a wheel chair all the time. Please note that the need for a walking stick (a cane) or having your walking distances limited will not grant you access. People who can barely get around independently will have their lives completely restricted if this access is taken away.