Handicap Parking As An Employee: All You Need To Know

Parking is often a perk of employment. In many cases, employees are provided with a place to park while they’re on the job. But what does this mean if you’re disabled?

Handicap parking as an employee is something protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Still, many people have questions about how they should be accommodated by their employer and what types of things must be provided.

Here’s what you need to know about employers accommodating people with disabilities as it relates to providing parking for employees while they’re on the job.

Do Employers Have To Provide Parking For Disabled Employees?

Any business with more than 15 employees has to abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it comes to accommodating disabilities. Under the ADA, there are specific requirements they must follow – including parking. Of course, some factors influence this, such as whether or not the employer is in control of the parking lot and whether or not providing you with parking falls into the category of reasonable accommodation if you have a disability.

disabled parking signage
Image by Possessed Photography on Unsplash: Handicap parking as an employee can get complicated. Talk to your employer for help.

If your employer owns and operates the parking lot you park in, and you are disabled, there are certain standards they must operate under to ensure they are in compliance with the ADA. For example, they must have a certain quantity of parking spaces in the lot accessible for employees with disabilities, and must provide accessible parking spaces if it’s a reasonable accommodation for someone with a disability that they employ.

If an employer does not own a parking lot and therefore does not offer parking as a perk to its employees, under the ADA they generally do not have to provide accessible parking to employees with disabilities. Whatever entity does control the parking where employees park is generally responsible for providing accessible parking under the ADA.

What Percentage of Parking Should Be Disabled?

There are standards set forth by the ADA as to how many accessible parking spaces must be in a lot. The number of accessible spaces is determined by the full number of spaces in the parking lot. For example, a parking lot with up to 25 parking spaces must have at least one accessible van space. A lot with between 25 and 50 spaces must have at least one standard accessible space and one accessible space for a van. The number goes all the way up to lots that have 300 total spaces, of which at least seven must be accessible.

In addition to the overall number of spots, these lots must also provide an access aisle to an accessible route – i.e. one that can provide an unobstructed and continuous route to the facility the parking lot serves.

What If There Aren’t Enough Accessible Parking Spaces?

In some circumstances, there may be more employees needing disabled parking than there are designated accessible spots in the lot. When this happens, what do you do?

Employers have to take into consideration what each employee needs to determine if accessible parking is really an accommodation they require. If it places undue hardship on the employer, the ADA does allow them to turn down a request for accommodations.

disabled parking spots with blue lines
mage by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash: Accommodating employees with disabilities is guaranteed by the law, but whether that includes parking depends on a few factors.

Ultimately, it’s up to the employer to define what a reasonable accommodation for a disability is when it comes to work. If they do not provide parking, then they may be able to come up with alternatives that provide designated or accessible parking to allow the employee with a disability to continue their employment.

It’s important to also understand that even if you have a disabled parking placard, an employer who does not provide parking as a perk of employment does not have to automatically provide parking for you, unless it can be negotiated as part of what is considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

You have rights as a disabled person to be able to access parking, but the ins and outs of the laws that govern this type of thing can be a bit tricky. Your best bet is to discuss your accommodations with your employer to decide what solution best fits everyone involved.

Featured image by Josh Sorenson on Pexels

How Do I Get A Handicap Sign In Front Of My House?

A lot of disabled drivers write to us asking things like, “How do I get a handicap parking space in front of my house?”. This is a very understandable question, because having a handicap sign designating a disabled space near your house can make life a lot easier.

All public parking lots and streets in the United States are required by law to contain a certain number of disabled parking spaces. This is stipulated in the Americans With Disabilities Act. But even still, as most disabled drivers can attest, it is sometimes difficult to find an available handicap space.

If you live in a built-up urban area, it can be even tougher to find a disabled parking space near your house. Even in an area with a large number of disabled spaces, during busy periods it can often be the case that all disabled spaces are in use. This poses a big problem for disabled drivers whose homes are in such areas.

Getting home after a long day at the office to find that the disabled spaces near your home are all occupied is stressful and (to say the least) inconvenient. So, to avoid such events, a lot of disabled drivers want to know… How do I get a handicap sign in front of my house?

Dr Handicap - disabled parking spots
Image by Norexy art on Pexels: Residential handicap parking spaces are available in many municipalities.

Can I Get A Disabled Parking Space Outside My House?

Whether or not you can get a disabled parking space outside your house depends on where you live. In most states, and municipalities within states, it is possible to get a disabled parking space in close proximity to your house if it is essential.

Many areas, such as the Chicago metropolitan area, have an official Residential Disabled Parking program. To find out the specific situation in your area you should contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

What Are Residential Handicap Parking Signs?

Residential handicap parking signs are signs that designate a parking space as “disabled” and only useable by the person who holds the relevant residential handicap parking permit. These spaces only exist in some municipalities.

Can Any Disabled Parking Permit Holder Park In A Residential Handicap Parking Space?

If a disabled parking space is designated specifically as a residential handicap parking space, the only people who can park in it are people who hold a disabled parking permit and a residential handicap parking permit.

The sign above a residential handicap parking space will usually have a permit number on it that will match the number on the residential handicap parking permit of the person who can use it.

Not all states have this system in place. In some states, a disabled parking space will be installed near a disabled permit holder’s home, but it will be available for any disabled parking permit holder to use.

Does Your Residence Have A Private Residents’ Parking Lot?

If your residence has a private residents’ parking lot, it will be required by law to have a certain number of disabled parking spaces. If this is the case it may be more difficult to get a handicap parking space on the street outside your residence.

How Do I Get A Handicap Sign In Front Of My House?

Many areas have an official program that deals with applications for Residential Disabled Parking. In these areas, you will need to apply through this official program. Each area’s application process is different, so you should contact your local DMV for further details.

In areas that don’t have an official Residential Disabled Parking program, you can still make a request to your local DMV. These requests are usually honored, and new disabled spaces will be installed as near as possible to your address. However, in areas with no official Residential Disabled Parking program, the new spaces will usually be available for use by all disabled permit holders, and not just residents.

What Do I Need To Show To Get A Handicap Sign In Front Of My House?

To get a handicap space in front of your residence you will need to show:

  • Your disabled parking permit
  • Proof that you live at your address
  • Proof that you do not have a viable alternative parking arrangement
Dr Handicap - residential street
Image by Aung Myint on Unsplash: It is usually possible to get a disabled parking space outside your house.

Do I Need To Pay To Get A Handicap Sign In Front Of My House?

Depending on where you live, there can be various costs involved in getting a handicap space in front of your home. These can include:

  • An initial application fee (usually between $20 and $100)
  • An annual maintenance fee (approximately $25 annually)
  • Installation costs (in places where no official Residential Disabled Parking program exists)

How Long Does It Take To Get A Handicap Sign?

Once your application for a handicap sign in front of your house has been accepted, it usually only takes a few weeks to a month to have the sign installed.

How Do I Get A Disabled Parking Permit?

The quickest way to get a disabled parking permit is to have an online consultation with a licensed medical professional. This can be done through the Dr. Handicap online clinic.

Dr. Handicap will put you in contact with a licensed medical professional who will verify your disability and certify the forms that you need to submit to your local DMV in order to acquire a disabled parking permit. It is a simple, quick, and easy process!

Featured image by gregroose on Pixabay

Can You Wait In A Handicap Spot?

Handicap parking spaces offer disabled drivers an invaluable lifeline, enabling them to go where they want to go and to live life on their own terms. Every jurisdiction in the United States is obliged by law to have a certain number of disabled parking spaces; in parking lots, on streets, and at all public amenities.

Misuse and abuse of disabled parking facilities is an illegal act that can have a severely negative effect on the quality of life of disabled people and their carers. But often people misuse disabled parking facilities not out of malice, but out of ignorance. Not everyone is up to speed on the rules and regulations surrounding handicap parking infrastructure.

Can You Wait In A Handicap Spot?

Confusion sometimes exists around the right way to use disabled parking spaces. People often have questions such as… Can you ever wait or stop in a handicap spot? How long can you stay parked in a handicap spot? What happens if you park in a disabled spot without a permit? Can you park in a handicap spot if you stay in the car? When is it OK to park or hover your car in a disabled parking spot? Can you wait in a metered space if you have a handicap permit?

The answers to these questions, while not known by everybody, are actually quite clear-cut. Today we will discuss everything you need to know about when, and under what circumstances, you can wait in a handicap spot.

Dr Handicap - handicap parking sign
Image by IanDScofieldWriter on Pixabay: Handicap parking spots must be kept clear for use by handicap parking permit holders.

Can I Stop In A Handicap Spot?

Whether or not you can stop in a handicap stop depends entirely on whether you or a passenger in your vehicle, are the legal holder of a disabled parking permit.

If you, or any of your passengers, hold a disabled parking permit and you have the permit in the vehicle, then you are legally allowed to stop in a handicap spot.

How Long Can You Stay Parked In A Handicap Spot?

If you, or any of your passengers, is the holder of a valid disabled parking permit, you can stay parked in a handicap spot for an unlimited amount of time (or the amount of time specified on the parking sign).

What Happens If You Park In A Disabled Spot Without A Permit?

Parking in a handicap spot without a permit is illegal. Doing so is a misdemeanor offense and can result in various different types of legal punishments.

What Punishments Are Involved In Parking Or Waiting Unlawfully In Handicap Spots?

The punishments for parking illegally in a handicap spot range in severity. The most common punishments can include:

  • A fine of up to $1000 (average fines are in the $200– $500 range)
  • Having your vehicle towed
  • Points on your license
  • Jail time

Can You Park In A Handicap Spot If You Stay In The Car?

If you do not have a valid handicap parking permit in your vehicle that belongs to someone who is currently traveling in the vehicle, then you cannot park in a handicap spot, even if you stay in the car.

When Is It OK To Park Or Hover Your Car In A Disabled Parking Spot?

It is only ever OK to use a handicap spot, either to park in or to hover in, when you or a passenger has their valid handicap parking permit with them in the vehicle.

Dr Handicap - car towed
Image by PIRO4D on Pixabay: A vehicle can be towed for parking illegally in a handicap parking spot.

How Can You Get A Handicap Parking Permit?

The easiest way to get a disabled parking permit is to arrange an online consultation with a licensed medical professional in your state through Dr. Handicap. Dr. Handicap is a fully HIPPA-compliant telemedicine clinic that helps disabled patients get online access to licensed doctors.

Once the examining doctor verifies that your disability qualifies you for a disabled parking permit, they will fill in the relevant paperwork and help you to access your state’s disabled parking program. It is a fast and simple process.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Handicap Parking Permit?

The most common list of qualifying conditions for a handicap parking permit are:

  • Not being able to walk 200 ft without needing to stop to rest.
  • Not being able to walk without the aid of a prosthetic device such as a cane, crutch, wheelchair, or another person.
  • Heath disease.
  • Lung disease.
  • Legal blindness.
  • Oxygen tank usage.
  • A neurological, arthritic, or orthopedic condition that curtails mobility.

Featured image by gregroose on Pixabay

When Did Handicap Parking Become A Legal Requirement?

Once you’ve received your handicap parking permit, you have immediate access to the most convenient parking spaces when you travel around the US. This accessibility is extremely helpful for people with disabilities who find it difficult to get around. Today, your rights as a disabled person are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but this wasn’t always the case. Keep reading for some history of disabled parking regulations.

Who invented handicap parking?

While the exact person who came up with the idea for handicap parking isn’t known, the first time there were any legal guidelines for parking advantages for individuals with disabilities was in 1955 in Delaware. This law designated specific parking spaces for those with disabilities. A few other areas in the US also implemented this idea, but it wasn’t widely successful at the time because it was hard to enforce without a federal system in place.

When did handicap parking become law?

So when did handicap parking become a legal requirement? The answer comes out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, a time when lawmakers became more focused on people’s rights (based on gender, race, ethnicity, etc.).

The first law benefiting disabled individuals came in 1968 with the Architectural Barriers Act; it established federal guidelines for the design of buildings so that they would be more accessible to people with disabilities. This included implementing special parking places, signage, and lowered curbs for wheelchair users. The International Symbol of Access (the wheelchair symbol you see today on handicap parking places) was instituted through this act. Although this was a helpful step for many people, there wasn’t any kind of enforcement or direction on placement or size of handicap parking at that time.

In 1988, the Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act was amended to protect people with disabilities from being discriminated against. But is handicap parking a federal law? It is now because of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This act, still in place today, outlines specific guidelines to help support people with disabilities, including regulation of handicap parking.

Dr Handicap - parking lot
Image by Brydon McCluskey on Unsplash: The ADA ensures that every parking lot has available handicap parking.

What does the ADA cover?

Section 4.6 of the ADA legislation mandates that parking lots and passenger loading zones must have at least one close handicap parking spot near a building’s entrance. Accessible parking spaces should be at least 96 inches wide to allow disabled drivers and/or passengers to enter and exit the vehicle easily (especially if they require the use of a wheelchair or other assistive device).

The ADA also laid out the regulations that businesses need to follow – for example, for every 25 regular parking spaces, there needs to be a minimum of one handicap parking space and one handicap van parking space. The number of designated spaces increases with the amount of regular available parking spaces (e.g. a place with 400 parking spaces must have a minimum of eight handicap-accessible spaces). There is also specific legislation regarding medical buildings and hospitals; these facilities must ensure at least 10% of their parking is handicap spaces.

The ADA also requires that all accessible spaces be designed the exact same way: eight feet wide (and 11 feet wide for van-accessible parking). Access aisles in between the spaces should be marked with a crosshatch pattern so that other vehicles cannot park there and must be at least five feet wide. The surfaces of these spaces must be smooth and level so that wheeled mobility devices can be used easily. All spots should be painted (usually in blue) and marked with appropriate signage designating the spaces as handicap accessible ones. These spaces should also be well-maintained and kept clear of snow, ice, leaves, etc.

Can you report someone not adhering to the ADA?

There are some avenues you can go down if you think a business or public area isn’t abiding by the ADA laws. If you believe someone is breaking the federal law, you can make a direct complaint on the ADA.gov website. The government agency will then investigate your claim and take action if necessary. This can be helpful if you’re trying to make sure the parking lots in your area have the required number of handicap-accessible parking places. You can also contact your local law or parking enforcement to lodge a complaint, or you can call the city manager to voice your concerns.

Dr Handicap - laptop
Image by Content Pixie on Unsplash: You can file a formal complaint online if you think someone is not following the laws of the ADA.

Although handicap places are regulated under federal law, some states (and even some cities) may have additional restrictions to help with discrimination against disabled individuals. This can include allowing them to park for an extended amount of time (even if there’s a posted time limit) or parking for free at on-street metered parking. These types of benefits are extended in an effort to make getting around easier for those with disabilities.

It’s important to check the laws and regulations for your specific city and state so that you’re informed of your rights. But chances are, if you’re disabled, your rights are covered by federal law.

Featured image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash

Is Disabled Parking Free At Six Flags?

Six Flags has parks all across the United States that many families enjoy year after year. If you are disabled or have someone in your party who is, then it’s important to understand what to expect from a visit to one of Six Flags’ many parks.

So is disabled parking free at Six Flags? From parking to enjoying attractions, here’s what you need to know about services for the disabled at Six Flags.

Is Disabled Parking Free At Six Flags?

Six Flags does have accessible parking available. The parking is available to those who need it on a first-come, first-served basis. Six Flags asks that when those in need of disabled parking arrive at the park, they talk to a team member about where to find accessible parking spots.

You must have a valid disabled parking placard or plate to park in the accessible parking area and it must be visible at all times while you are parked. If you find that the parking lot is full upon arrival, you can ask for additional parking areas or drop off those who need it in the designated drop-off zones. Those with disabled parking plates must pay the same parking fees as those without disabled parking placards or plates.

Dr Handicap - Six Flags park map
Image by Art of Hoping on Unsplash: The park maps are a great way to locate Six Flags’ ADA guideline-compliant features.

Facilities In The Park: Is Six Flags Handicap Accessible?

For people with disabilities, accessibility is important. Six Flags recognizes this, which is why they have accessible restaurants and restrooms available throughout the park.

Every restroom you find throughout Six Flags parks are accessible to wheelchairs. You can find the location of restrooms on the visitor’s maps available throughout the park.

In restaurants, hosts will provide assistance to any person who cannot navigate through the line. They can assist you in ordering food and can also help those with hearing and visual impairments to consult the menus and order.


If you want to take advantage of one of the many shows in a Six Flags park, simply arrive at any show facility about 15 minutes before the show is to begin and speak with a host. There is seating specifically for those who cannot transfer from a wheelchair.

Guest Services: Following Six Flags ADA Guidelines

If you have a question at any point during your visit, you can contact any team member at the Guest Services locations throughout the park. They can help resolve any issues you may have or provide more information for specific park services for those with disabilities.

Six Flags Ride Requirements

The rides at every Six Flags theme park require a guest to transfer from a wheelchair with the assistance of someone in their party or by themselves. No employee of the park can help you transfer, as they are not trained in proper carrying or lifting procedures.

Safety may also dictate that not all rides are available to guests who can’t maintain a proper position in the ride at all times. The safety restraints are designed to be used throughout a ride. If someone is not able to properly utilize a safety restraint, then they will be unable to ride. This means that if a restrictive device such as a cast or brace is in use and cannot safely be accommodated on the ride, then you may not be able to take part.

The Attraction Access Program: Six Flags Disability Pass

Six Flags has a program for those with disabilities called the Attraction Access Program. It is meant to help patrons with disabilities enjoy the park to its fullest.

Each attraction at Six Flags has been evaluated to understand if it can be ridden safely by those with disabilities. The Attraction Access Program has measures in place to help disabled individuals with accommodations that help them enjoy equal access to the fun.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a pass from Guest Services upon arrival at the park. You will need to present a doctor’s note to get the pass. For the note to be valid it must contain your name, the doctor’s name, address, and telephone number, be on official letterhead, and state that that you have a disability qualified under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Dr Handicap - Six Flags restaurant
Image by Jacob Blanck on Unsplash: Six Flags is handicap accessible for most people – so go have fun! And don’t forget your Six Flags disability pass.

Six Flags wants everyone to have a great experience. If you have questions about your visit, be sure to contact them ahead of time so you’re well prepared for a great day.

Featured image by Gabriel Valdez on Unsplash