Waterford City and County Council is the first local authority in the country to have provided Hidden Disability car parking Spaces.
The two spaces have been situated in Scanlan’s Yard in Dungarvan since September 2021.
The spaces are easily identified with a bright yellow sunflower on a green background. The sunflower has become internationally recognised as the symbol of hidden disabilities.
The council says that as not all disabilities are visible, or immediately obvious, the car parking spaces are located in a safe location, not immediately located beside the road and are the same dimensions as a Wheelchair accessible parking space.
Fergus Galvin, Director of Services, Waterford City and County Council explained,
Many disabilities are not always visible such as autism, acquired brain injury, sight or hearing impairment, or learning difficulties. Those with hidden disabilities, and their families or carers may a need a little extra time or assistance getting into and out of their cars safely.
Fergus added, “Some of the users may not qualify for a Blue Badge, so these courtesy parking spaces provide a safe and accessible place to park.
While the spaces require paid parking (the Pay and Display ticket machine is located close to these parking spaces) Waterford Council is asking the general public to respect the spaces and leave them for those with hidden disabilities.
Waterford City and County Council is the first local authority in Ireland to introduce hidden disability spaces and following such a positive response intends to introduce more in the city and county in the near future.
According to Hidden Disabilities, across Ireland, 1 in 5 people live with some form of disability and 80% of these are non-visible. That’s just under 1 million people who are living with a non-visible disability.
More here on the latest WLR News.