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Advocates for disabled want 'handicapped' off parking signs


By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Advocates for the disabled in Missouri want to strike the word "handicapped" from state laws about parking spaces.

Susan Pritchard-Green, who heads the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities, said many people do not know what the word originally meant.

"The word 'handicapped' is derived from the meaning of a beggar with a cap in hand," Pritchard-Green said. "So it's a very derogatory and insulting word for people with disabilities." (This turned out to be wrong. Please see our correction.)

Green said she'd like to see the spaces marked in blue to be known simply as "accessible parking." The Planning Council and other advocacy groups have said they'll push for legislation to change the language in state law. Pritchard-Green said that's already the case in several other states.


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