Community Members Discuss New Disabled Veteran Bill

Community Members Discuss New Disabled Veteran Bill

Calvin Coler recently read about Texas Senate Bill 792. The retired United States Army command sergeant major served 30 years and is now a disabled veteran.

"I have a bunch of disabilities," said Coler. "But that won't stop me from walking a distance to get to the location I'm going."

SB 792 says disabled veterans will now have to hang their Americans with Disabilities Act placards in their vehicle to park in an ADA spot instead of relying on their disabled veteran license plate.

"It is a big deal for us. We shouldn't have to park in the very back of a parking lot and take up two spaces. We should be able to use that allotted space that is given from the ADA," said Melina Picott.

Picott's daughter is in a wheelchair. She needs to park in ADA parking to use a ramp on the right side of her van. She said living in Central Texas, where there are so many disabled veterans, finding those spaces can be hard.

"That extra space gets her in and out of our vehicle safely. It also gets others in handicap and disabled vehicles in and out of their vehicle safely."

Both Picott and Cooler agree that there are veterans who have disabilities you cannot physically see.

"I don't care if you've been in the Army one day or 40 years; you can get hurt that first day," said Coler. "I think they need to come up with a plan and decipher who needs to have that parking thing according to their disability."

On Dec. 1, the department of motor vehicles will also require every recipient who applies for an ADA placard to get a doctor's signature on the application. Those against the new law argued it makes things harder for veterans.