‘Disabled people like me are fed up of ignorant people using our parking spaces’

Actor, presenter and disability rights campaigner Samantha Renke has slammed people who use disabled parking space and toilets if they don't need to- branding them "ignorant".

Samantha opened up on the subject in a new article for Metro.

Writing on the site, Samantha said she 'can't remember how many times' she's challenged non-disabled person for using a disabled parking space.

READ MORE: Woman horrified by nasty note left on her car as she parks in disabled spot

And she says they almost always have an excuse such as they were 'just grabbing some ciggies' or 'only popping to the shop'.

"Of course, not all disabilities are visible, but – call it a sixth sense or something – in my experience, you can almost always tell when someone is taking the biscuit, so to speak," she said.

Samantha said that people taking up disabled spaces – parking and otherwise is "offensive and ableist".

She said she recently read an article that stated Birmingham Airport has reportedly seen a 20% rise in the number of people asking for disabled assistance, with travel industry bosses 'theorising that non-disabled people are lying about being disabled simply to cut the queues faster.'

"This really angers me," she said.

"People clearly don’t recognise their privilege and it’s a complete slap in the face to every disabled person out there when others abuse provisions that are for us."

As well as parking Samantha says people often tell her, 'with a cheeky grin', that they use accessible bathrooms, even know they 'know they shouldn't'.

She fumed: "Not cool – and rather odd you’d share this with your disabled friend. Because yes, it is offensive."

Further commenting on the issue, Samantha wrote: "People’s ignorance and awkwardness around disability allows us to be further marginalised and treated badly. It’s tiring as a disabled person to constantly live in flux – to be bending yourself this way or that to justify your life because the world still doesn’t value you.

"Disabled people deserve respect, as well as to be heard and valued. If you abuse us in any way, we will call it out."


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