A 78-year-old man was horrified to find a threatening note on his windscreen, insinuating he was misusing his disabled parking permit.
The man had parked his car — with permit displayed — in a disabled car park near his house in Mosman, on Sydney's Lower North Shore, coming back a few hours later to find the note.
"We are all watching you," the note, which was scrawled on receipt paper, read.
"Where is the wheelchair? Consider others."
"I felt very threatened because I felt somebody was watching everything I did," the man's wife admitted. "Not necessarily for parking there. But people were watching me."
The man — who has had a stroke and uses a walking stick —parked his car near the unit he shares with his wife.
"He was appalled. absolutely appalled," the man's wife, who wished to remain anonymous, told Yahoo News Australia.
"He is a doctor. And you know he's written those parking permits for other people. He assesses people's disabilities himself. He's quite aware of what manner of disabilities people have."
The woman said her husband is vigilant about making sure the permit — which he's had for around three years — is only used by himself and would never take advantage of it.
"I mean, I've had it in the car, and you know, haven't used it, you know, even though and I'm dropping him off somewhere because he said, 'I will lose that disability park if, if I'm not around,'" she explained, adding he's very aware of the permit's rules and he wouldn't park somewhere that he wasn't allowed to.
"It's very upsetting," she continued. "People are just judgmental through ignorance.
"In [their eyes] if you're not on crutches or severely disabled, then you're not in their eyes entitled to park there."
'Disability comes in all forms'
The woman posted a photo of the note to a local Facebook group, where locals were outraged on the couple's behalf.
"Such a shame that people have so little compassion," one woman wrote.
"In a warped sense of reality you thought you were doing good, but instead have likely made someone feel guilty about their disability," another pointed out.
"The amount of times I’ve had this happen to me is just ludicrous," another woman wrote.
"Disability comes in all forms. I have a wheelchair but don’t always use it as I hate it. These people are small-minded."
According to the Transport Roads and Maritime Services website, an Australian Disability Parking permit must only be displayed when the vehicle is being used to transport the individual to whom the permit was issued. It must not be used to visit or run errands for an eligible person when that person is not being transported in the vehicle.
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