If it can be said that there are any "advantages" to having a disability, handicapped parking is one. I've come to rely on those "handy spaces" whenever they get me closer to a building entrance. My walking is still extremely slow and very tiring.
I used to intentionally leave the most convenient spaces open for those who might need it more than me, until I gradually realized that I rarely see anybody who apparently fits that description.
I say "apparently" because one thing we have noticed is that you often can't tell by looking who has a physical disability. A person with chronic fatigue, for instance, could go bounding into a post office but end up dragging themselves out ten minutes later. An average walker might be seen entering a shop but might have difficulty carrying their purchase when they leave.
Or ... they might be a selfish, able-bodied jerk using someone's handicap placard to park for free. Here in California the DMV admits that their recordkeeping is a couple of years behind and as a result they have sent out 56,000 hang tags to dead people. Many of their family members have kept them. By DMV estimates, on any given street, on any given day, more than one third of handicapped parking spaces are being used improperly. One-third! They apparently deduced this from recent sting operations they conducted around the state.
I started thinking about this yesterday because, as I was unloading my trike at a local park, a parks district police officer asked to see my permit. Wow! This is the first time this has ever happened to me. It made me wonder if this was a random check or if the local municipalities have discovered a new revenue stream. At about 250 bucks a pop, fines for placard violations can keep a lot of libraries operating, schools staffed, and police officers and firefighters in their jobs.
It's a delicate operation because law enforcement is not permitted to ask you anything about your physical/medical condition. Still, it's important to stop the opportunists because, as our population ages and more and more disabled people remain active, those "handy spaces" are going to become scarcer and scarcer.