Parents and primary caretakers of children with significant developmental disabilities may be eligible for disability placards, allowing them to park in handicapped parking spaces. These parking spaces are more convenient and closer to the entrance to the doctor’s office, the supermarket’s front doors, the movie theater, etc. Criteria, although similar, are determined individually from state to state.
Common criteria include:
- Sight impairment; blindness
- Does not have use of a limb, in particular an arm
- Cannot walk without assistance or use of assistive device, such as a brace, crutch, etc.
- Breathing restriction because of lung disease; uses portable oxygen
- Functional limitations due to cardiac condition
- Severe limited ability to walk due to arthritis, neurology, or orthopedic condition
- Responsible for transporting a person with one of the above mentioned disabilities
The criteria that allow families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to access a disability placard are bolded.
Each state provides an application, accessible online, for parking placards. As part of the application process, the individual’s disability must be certified by a healthcare provider. Parents wishing to obtain a parking placard should ask the healthcare provider to discuss issues of safety within a certification letter.
- Person with Disability Parking Placards/Plates, from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
- Disability Parking Placard Application, from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
- Instructions for Disability Parking Placard Application, from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
- Disability Parking Placard Application, from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
- Handicapped Plates or Placards, from the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles
- Disability Parking Placard Application, from the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles