On Monday, Julie Tanner and her daughter Paige went out for a day of shopping.
They parked their car in a disabled parking spot at their local shopping centre in Reading, England – the Tanners have a disability permit for their 23-year-old daughter who is severely mentally disabled.
When they returned to their car some time later, they found an abusive note under the windscreen wiper.
“I witnessed you and your young, able bodied daughter park the car at 13.10 on 19 Feb 2018 and walk towards the precinct with no sign of disability,” the handwritten note read.
“This selfish action deprives a disabled person of somewhere to park. You will be reported for illegal use of a [disabled parking] space.”
Paige’s father Alan shared the note on his Facebook page as a reminder not to “judge a book by its cover”.
“This was a letter left on my wife’s car today, when in Woodley precinct with Paige, she was parked in a disabled parking space. Paige has got a valid Disabled badge,” he wrote alongside a picture of the note.
“So to the person that wrote this letter, do not judge unless you know the full details of someone’s disability. Paige is not a young girl as you stated but a 23 year old adult who is severely mentally disabled and requires 1:1 support at all times.
“I hope the person who wrote this gets to see this.”
Vanessa Cranfield speaks to Mia Freedman about what it’s like as a mother when your disabled daughter grows up on the No Filter podcast. Post continues after audio.
Commenters were overwhelmingly supportive of the Tanner family.
“Disability comes in many different forms so many that are invisible to others … such a shame that people feel that it is ok to comment when they know very little,” one wrote.
Another added, “The old saying ‘you should never judge a book by its cover’ comes to mind. People that don’t know you don’t know the situation and have no right to judge you or your family.”
After finding the note, Julie called her local council to confirm her daughter’s disability permit was indeed legitimate in case the stranger had reported them, the mum-of-three told the BBC.
“We have to do it for our own daughter, so she can get the best out of life,” she said.
Do you think the person who wrote the note was in the wrong in this situation?