Disabled community activist calls to fight Hawaii’s new law

HONOLULU (KHON2) – A new law designed to combat abuse is not right for some members of Hawaii’s disabled community.

Those with a disability sign will no longer be allowed to park for free at metered stands from Thursday, July 1.

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People with disabilities who prevent them from reaching or using the meter can still apply for a free parking permit, but many believe this creates more challenges for the community.

“It’s a big slap in the face for people who are having a hard time living anyway,” said Linda Wong, community activist with a disability.

Wong is disabled herself – she has lost all of the cartilage in both of her feet.

The language of the law only allows people with physical limitations to apply for a permit, but it is concerned about people with intellectual disabilities.

“There are different types of disabilities, some are physical and some are invisible. Some people who you can’t see as a head injury or something like that don’t get a disability spot because they don’t qualify because they can walk, ”Wong said.

Many people with disabilities have a fixed income or are unable to work full time. Wong says even something like free parking can help.

Those who lobbied for the new law said too many people were abusing the system and enforcing the current laws was not enough to prevent people from taking advantage of it.

“The app would be great if we could get a bigger app that would be very helpful in tandem with this law change,” Wong said.

The city was unable to provide how much revenue is lost through closet parking, but a 2013 San Francisco audit found it had lost $ 22 million and recommended that parking privileges end. free in the street.

Hawaii had around 102,000 posters as of Thursday, June 22. Of this number, approximately 7,000 holders would be eligible for the new license. Wong wants his community to come together and fight against the law.

“Call your legislature, call them and leave a message and flood their phones,” Wong said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story showed an incorrect date for the law to come into effect. The error has been corrected.

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