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The Madison Record

Jets Press video about handicapped parking elevates to state curriculum

Broadcasting/media instructor Daniel Whitt and student Caleb Besaw at James Clemens produced "Think Before You Park" with the Madison City Disability Advocacy Board. (CONTRIBUTED)
Broadcasting/media instructor Daniel Whitt and student Caleb Besaw at James Clemens produced “Think Before You Park” with the Madison City Disability Advocacy Board. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – A Jets Press Production video urging respect for handicapped parking is now used statewide for drivers’ education.

Videographers at James Clemens High School produced the four-minute community service video, “Think Before You Park,” in conjunction with the Madison City Disability Advocacy Board in 2013.

To view the video, visit youtube.com/watch?v=N45nIhDVP0M.

Student Caleb Besaw and classmates, led by broadcasting/media instructor Daniel Whitt, designed and filmed the video in a Publix parking lot.

After receiving more than 7,000 views on YouTube, the video caught the attention of the Alabama State Department of Education. The department recently distributed the video to more than 300 drivers’ education teachers across Alabama.

In the video, Joanne Pearson and disability board member Don Gardner explain the problems when motorists park illegally in handicapped zones, block curb cuts to sidewalks and leave shopping carts in handicapped spaces.

James Clemens Principal Dr. Brian Clayton said his students “are the best when it comes to creativity and addressing worthy causes. They did a tremendous public service by producing this video.”

Clayton takes pride in James Clemens having “a role educating drivers about parking and accessibility issues for the disabled.”

Drivers’ failure to comply with accessible parking laws creates obstacles for people with disabilities and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Gardner said. Many violations result when motorists do not understand components of accessible parking, like access to parking aisles and curb cuts.

“It’s awesome that students took the initiative to put the spotlight on the handicapped. That puts a face on handicapped parking laws,” Jeremy Seamon said. Seamon coordinates safety curriculum in Alabama public schools.

“By educating young drivers about accessible parking laws as they are learning to drive, hopefully, we can create a culture of compliance for the future that will once again empower people with disabilities,” Gardner said.

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