‘Kick in the guts’: Mum of blind girl denied parking permit
THE MOTHER of a blind six-year-old says she cops abusive messages from people for parking in disabled spaces after being rejected for a permit.
Taylor Blennerhassett's daughter Mackenna Murray was born with septo-optic dysplasia, leaving her blind and with hormonal issues.
Ms Blennerhassett was rejected by the Department of Transport and Main Roads for a disability parking permit, as vision impairment does not meet the criteria under the current scheme.
"It is the biggest kick in the guts, to be told no she's not disabled enough to get this permit," she said.
"It is absolute bull***, I have to tell her when there's a step, I have to tell her when there's a ditch or any obstacle in her way, if I don't do that she'll trip and hurt herself."
Ms Blennerhassett said Mackenna's condition made leaving her house "challenging" while having to juggle another child with behavioural issues.
"I get permission from Mackenna's school, they've gone to the effort of printing me out a piece of paper to say that I'm allowed to park in the disabled spots," she said.
"Otherwise I receive notes on my car, abusive messages to say that I had no right parking there, it was for people with disabilities."
Ms Blennerhassett fears her daughter may one day walk into traffic as she relies on her other senses including sound, to get around.
"That little bit of distance to walk, we need to be lessened by disability parking, it would make all the difference in the world," she said.
"There's no fairness in it at all."
Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto is holding a discussion with Guide Dogs Queensland at Parliament House on Wednesday about expanding the eligibility of disability parking permits to include people who are visually impaired.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the families calling for an expansion of the scheme "have a strong case".
"That's why I want to see the eligibility of parking permits widened and greater enforcement of them," Mr Bailey said.
"The review is well advanced - we want to get it right the first time and do this process thoroughly.
"We've consulted with a wide range of advocacy groups, local governments and enforcement agencies as part of this process.
"There will be changes coming in this space and I want to see come online as soon as possible."