Penticton woman upset over nasty note left on her car questioning her use of disabled spot

Accused of fake disability

One Penticton resident had "a hell of a morning" after she found a nasty note left on her car, questioning why she had parked in a disabled spot and accusing her and the young child with her of not appearing to have a disability.

Tammy Dafoe was helping out a couple of friends by babysitting their child and had gone into the Save On Foods to grab a couple things on Wednesday morning.

“We were in there maybe ten minutes. I got into my truck and didn't even see the thing on my windshield until I was halfway back home, and all I saw was ‘Are you really handicapped' or whatever the first line was,” Dafoe explained.

“And I went ‘Oh my god’ and took it off and I just got livid. This is not right.”

The note reads “Are you handicapped or is the little boy? Did not appear that either of you are! So you must think you are above good [etiquette.] Privileged?”

“This note that was left, talking about you must think you're privileged, well there are people that park in those spots that don't have a placard that just assumes they can park there because they can ... People don't know, they don't understand because I don't have a wheelchair or I don't have to use my cane all of the time, they don't get the disability.”

Dafoe has her disabled placard visible on her car and deals with a rare form of arthritis that causes her constant pain.

“I've had people say, you don't look handicapped and then it's like well, I'll give you my ankylosing spondylitis and you try walking around and making extra steps every day and not be crying at the end of the day because you're in so much pain,” she explained.

“It's disappointing mostly because with everything that's going on with the pandemic ... that should be the least on somebody's worry meter.”

Dafoe has had others question her parking in a disabled spot before, but has never had a physical note left on her vehicle.

“It was just shocking … [I’m] disappointed, angry that people are making assumptions when they don't even know what I have to deal with every day. It's frustrating and I wish people wouldn't make a judgement based on one look or without even asking.”

As someone with a disabled placard, Dafoe has to go through an application process to renew it every three years.

“I have to submit paperwork, I have to pay for it, it's not a freebie. They have to know that I'm still handicapped, that I still have a problem.”

Dafoe shared the message and note to Facebook, hoping to remind others to not jump to conclusions about other people.

“I know I'm not the only person with a placard that goes through it,” she said.

“The more people that are made aware, maybe it will only make a difference to one or two of them, and that would make me happy. It's not going to change everybody but maybe it will change just a couple of people so someone else doesn't have to go through it.”

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