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Old 03-31-2023, 05:13 AM   #1
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Handicap RV Sites At FL State Parks

We just finished a 2 week stay at John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, we also stayed there about a month ago, 2 weeks both times. We are Florida residents and have been for 40+ years. My wife is handicap and we have handicap tags on our vehicles as well as the coach. At this park they have 3 handicap camping sites however the entire time we were there there was never another handicap vehicle in either of the other 2 site but they were always filled.

If I was to park at the store in a handicap spot without a hang tag or plate I would get a substantial fine, but that is not the case at FL state parks. I did ask a couple other campers that were on those spots about not being handicap and was told that they try for those spots because they think fewer people target them so they go for the handicap sites because they do not check when you check in. When I asked at the ranger station I was told that they do not enforce the handicap site rules.

We have sent letters to all our state senators and governor asking to add a provision the the pending bill to help handicap people by giving them a 48 hour window to reserve a site, if it is not reserved then it goes back into the reservation system. Karen also called the state park office in Tallahassee and spoke to a person there that was a little evasive about the spots, she then turned Karen over to the ADA compliance person, after going over our concerns and our idea about reserving the spots, he thought it was a great idea and wondered why it hadn't been thought of before.

If any of this concerns you contact the state senators and governor and call the State Park office Tallahassee.
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Old 03-31-2023, 05:47 AM   #2
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Lot of questions come to mind when this kind of topic comes up.
What are the specific rules for handicap sites in Florida? Where did you find them? My wife is in a wheelchair and mobility scooter, and we see little difference in sites except the handicap sites are usually closer to the showers in Georgia state parks.
Is there specific requirements for mirror hangers? Some states say 'no mirror hangers' because the obstruct views.
Is a non-handicap person in violation in a public toilet when he uses the handicap toilet?
I can see how officials in the park had rather ignore that try to figure out who is disabled and/or qualifies for a handicap site.
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Old 03-31-2023, 05:58 AM   #3
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We were assigned a handicap site in 2 state parks. We didn't seek them , they were assigned when we called.
We didn't know until I backed in that they were handicap.
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Old 03-31-2023, 06:14 AM   #4
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Dont be so fast to judge.
I am handicapped but don't have tags or plates showing it.
I do have my Recreatoinal.gov Access pass with the wheel chair emblem as proof if needed, but i will only show that to someone of authority if asked.
Anyone else can look at the scars from both of my posterior hip replacements.
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Old 03-31-2023, 11:32 AM   #5
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Dont be so fast to judge.
I am handicapped but don't have tags or plates showing it.
I do have my Recreatoinal.gov Access pass with the wheel chair emblem as proof if needed, but i will only show that to someone of authority if asked.
Anyone else can look at the scars from both of my posterior hip replacements.
Me, also. America the Beautiful
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Old 03-31-2023, 11:50 AM   #6
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According to Florida law (& most likely, many, if not all states) it's illegal to park in a handicap spot. I'm really surprised Florida government (state parks) allow this practice. It's time to protest!!

https://www.disabilityexpertsfl.com/...20is%20%24250.
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Old 03-31-2023, 01:45 PM   #7
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According to Florida law (& most likely, many, if not all states) it's illegal to park in a handicap spot. I'm really surprised Florida government (state parks) allow this practice. It's time to protest!!

https://www.disabilityexpertsfl.com/...20is%20%24250.
An RV site is not legally a parking spot. Unless there is a local law to the contrary they are basically like the previously mentioned handicap stall in a restroom. Use by a non handicapped person is not prohibited.
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Old 03-31-2023, 02:19 PM   #8
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Toilet analogy doesn’t hold water (so to speak).

If a handicap space, whether it’s a parking space or an RV space is tagged with an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) sign, poster or painted on ground, it is illegal for persons who do not have a valid handicap placard or plate to occupy that space, period. It’s federal law. Doesn’t matter if park rangers don’t enforce. If they don’t or won’t, they too are in violation of ADA. On the other hand, if a space is designated as handicapped, but does not have an ADA sign, it’s questionable whether ADA laws can be enforced. I have been to full NFS and NRA campgrounds a couple of times and found ADA campsites occupied by people with no right to be there. I notified rangers, who made them move. They got angry with me, but maybe they would have preferred I call the state police and have them chew on a $250 citation. I have also been to state parks with designated handicap spaces but no ADA sign, in which case I’ve never interloped. In my experience, The situation with campgrounds is not much different than it is in parking lots at shopping malls and grocery stores. There are always people who just ignore the ADA signs, and there are always store owners who never call the cops to enforce. I think sometimes people who really are handicapped are looked at sideways by scofflaws, and get annoyed by us.

Clearly, ADA campsites can be released by campground authorities for general use if not reserved or taken by handicapped persons, but normally the provision is not waived on first come first served campsites.
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Old 03-31-2023, 02:55 PM   #9
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Toilet analogy doesnít hold water (so to speak).

If a handicap space, whether itís a parking space or an RV space is tagged with an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) sign, poster or painted on ground, it is illegal for persons who do not have a valid handicap placard or plate to occupy that space, period. Itís federal law. Doesnít matter if park rangers donít enforce. If they donít or wonít, they too are in violation of ADA. On the other hand, if a space is designated as handicapped, but does not have an ADA sign, itís questionable whether ADA laws can be enforced. I have been to full NFS and NRA campgrounds a couple of times and found ADA campsites occupied by people with no right to be there. I notified rangers, who made them move. They got angry with me, but maybe they would have preferred I call the state police and have them chew on a $250 citation. I have also been to state parks with designated handicap spaces but no ADA sign, in which case Iíve never interloped. In my experience, The situation with campgrounds is not much different than it is in parking lots at shopping malls and grocery stores. There are always people who just ignore the ADA signs, and there are always store owners who never call the cops to enforce. I think sometimes people who really are handicapped are looked at sideways by scofflaws, and get annoyed by us.

Clearly, ADA campsites can be released by campground authorities for general use if not reserved or taken by handicapped persons, but normally the provision is not waived on first come first served campsites.
Thankfully there is no requirement to offer ADA RV sites under federal law, so we didnít. And your actions in the park where you apparently made multiple people move by threatening legal action is exactly why we made zero effort to encourage disabled guests. You did not require multiple sites, and you give no indication you actually needed or were denied an accessible site. Overzealous activists are exactly the reason we took no action over the minimum ADA requirements when it came to adding amenities or improving the existing infrastructure.
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Old 03-31-2023, 03:22 PM   #10
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Enough hurling invective please.

The rules at the federal campsites where this occurred were clearly stated on the campground regulations: Ada sites are for use by disabled persons only. If there are unoccupied handicap sites after 4:00pm, persons who wish to occupy those sites may check with the Ranger”

We arrived at 2:00pm and the people who were occupying the site, had not received any permission from the Ranger. So, I don’t know whether you read upside down or not, but they had clearly violated the park rules. And where did you come up with the idea that I threatened legal action? Please stop posting untruths. I merely went to a Ranger for a duly appointed authority to adjudicate the situation. I know my rights under ADA. Apparently you do not.

Disabled persons who try to enforce their rights under ADA are not activists. Why even bother having ADA regulations if people like you believe they should not be observed. Some of us became disabled in wartime. The laws were designed to afford certain protections to the class of Americans with disabilities. Not to be interpreted by individuals with an axe to grind against disabled persons. Each campground we have been to has different ADA camping provisions. If you’re unsure of what they are, maybe you should read the campground guide.
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Old 03-31-2023, 04:32 PM   #11
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Rather confused as to what differences there are between handicap campsites and a regular campsite.
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Old 03-31-2023, 04:58 PM   #12
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Rather confused as to what differences there are between handicap campsites and a regular campsite.
Typically, the handicap sites are close to the bathrooms. They probably have additional concrete areas to accommodate people that have limited mobility.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:30 PM   #13
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I had a fav site at a nearby SP for almost 10 years. Then, next time I went to reserve it, that site was ADA. They changed nothing to it except installed a grill up on a pedestal & changed it's designation on the website to ADA.
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Old 03-31-2023, 10:33 PM   #14
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Enough hurling invective please.

The rules at the federal campsites where this occurred were clearly stated on the campground regulations: Ada sites are for use by disabled persons only. If there are unoccupied handicap sites after 4:00pm, persons who wish to occupy those sites may check with the RangerĒ

We arrived at 2:00pm and the people who were occupying the site, had not received any permission from the Ranger. So, I donít know whether you read upside down or not, but they had clearly violated the park rules. And where did you come up with the idea that I threatened legal action? Please stop posting untruths. I merely went to a Ranger for a duly appointed authority to adjudicate the situation. I know my rights under ADA. Apparently you do not.

Disabled persons who try to enforce their rights under ADA are not activists. Why even bother having ADA regulations if people like you believe they should not be observed. Some of us became disabled in wartime. The laws were designed to afford certain protections to the class of Americans with disabilities. Not to be interpreted by individuals with an axe to grind against disabled persons. Each campground we have been to has different ADA camping provisions. If youíre unsure of what they are, maybe you should read the campground guide.
I totally agree with you.
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