‘No Wheelchair Doesn’t Mean He’s Not Disabled’- Term life

Mum Hannah Garlick hits back at people who abuse her for parking in disabled spaces

A YOUNG Sydney mum has started on a mission to teach people that not every person with a disability is in a wheelchair after constant harrassment for parking in disabled parking spaces.Hannah Garlick’s little boy Caleb suffers a range of debilitating illnesses including eosinophilic esophagitis, an allergic inflammatory condition, laryngomalacia and severe eczema which requires daily wet bandages to be applied to much of his body.

While dropping her daughter to school last week, Ms Garlick parked in the disabled parking spot on the grounds as she needed to get back home quickly with Caleb to meet the nurse for his treatment.

After getting out of her car, which was clearly displaying a disabled parking sticker, she was approached by someone who told her she wasn’t allowed to park there.

In an emotional video posted on Facebook, Ms Garlick told of how the confrontation was just one of many she has had while trying to look after her sick child.

She vowed to start a campaign to educate people that not everyone who has a disability always has physical signs that prove it.

When Caleb is without his bandages, Ms Garlick often gets harassed for parking in disabled parking zones. Picture: Facebook

The young mum has created a sign she hopes will educate people on the fact not everyone who has a disability is in a wheelchair.

“Just because he’s not in a wheelchair, doesn’t mean he’s not disabled,” she said.

“Just because he’s a little boy and some days he looks amazing and looks normal, does not mean there’s no disability there.”

When Caleb has been bandaged – sometimes covering his entire body – people are less likely to confront Ms Garlick, but when he has them off, people are much less kind.

“That is an everyday thing. What annoys me the most is when he isn’t wet bandaged I get hammered, absolutely hammered,” she said.

“The amount of people that leave notes on my car and it is so hard because people can barely understand what you go through, let alone (having to) get hammered every day.”

It is a similar story to that suffered by double transplant recipient Lauren Rowe who this week shared a note that had been left on her car blasting her for parking in a disabled parking space at Macarthur Square.

Ms Garlick said she is hoping to change perceptions in Australia with her campaign.

“To the 2 young women who parked here and walked off – your lack of consideration is acknowledged. Well done,” the note read.

Ms Rowe, who had the double lung transplant at 19 but only has 30% capacity after her body began to reject her body, hit back at the woman who left the note and pleaded with people to understand that not all disabilities were visible.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first judgment made against me from using a disabled sticker,” Lauren wrote in a post on her Facebook page that has been liked more than 2000 times and drawn outrage from hundreds of commenters.

Double transplant recipient Lauren Rowe has also spoken out about the problem.

In an effort to change the mindset of others who may be ill-informed about what type of people can use disabled parking spots, Ms Garlick has designed a sign that highlights that not everyone fits into the same single category.

“Not all disabilities look like this,” the sign reads next to a picture of a wheelchair. “Some disabilities look like this..”

Ms Garlick, who says in the video she is looking to change perceptions in Australia, hopes people will see the sign and open their minds before leaving nasty notes or saying insulting things.

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