I am a disabled vet who owns a vehicle equipped with hand controls and a ramp. I have as much right as others to eat, seek entertainment, work out, etc. However I have found it difficult to find a parking space that meets ADA standards. Often, someone who is not authorized to has taken the spot.

I can never understand why any business owner who allows the public into their establishment would not make the parking lot accessible to everyone. After all, one out of 10 Mainers are veterans or directly involved with military and 20 percents of all Mainers are disabled. Pretty large numbers. Our money is green as well — you do want some right? If I was a business owner, my mind would always be on my bottom line. Some large shopping malls or stores have 200-plus parking spaces; I really don’t think a few under ADA regulations is a big deal.

You have probably seen me, roaming parking lots in Augusta, snapping pictures, and then submitting them to Augusta police, and placing them on my Facebook page, Wheels of Change. My efforts are paying off. I am getting some thumbs up and many smiles and claps when I enter a parking lot. The police presence has increased considerably. I also inform business owners about ADA requirements, and many make the necessary adjustments.

Stores have hundreds of parking spaces. I think we should have one or two. Let’s end the discrimination.

Steven S. Brown


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