Ouch Too - a place for and about disabled people.

Forum => News and Current Affairs. => Topic started by: lankou on 21 Jan 2018 11:59AM

Title: Blue badge scheme could be extended to cover autism and dementia
Post by: lankou on 21 Jan 2018 11:59AM

People with hidden disabilities such as dementia and autism could be given blue badge parking permits in England under new government proposals.

The Department for Transport said that only certain councils were currently recognising hidden disabilities.

It said the proposed new policy was designed to provide "clear and consistent" guidelines.

Mental health campaigners welcomed the proposals for providing a "lifeline" to many people with hidden disabilities.

It is hoped the proposals, being put to an eight-week consultation, would create parity in the treatment of physical and mental health.

If they go ahead, it will be the biggest change to the blue badge scheme since it was introduced in 1970.

Around 2.4 million people have blue badges in England, which allows them to park for free in pay and display bays, use disabled parking bays, and stay for up to three hours on yellow lines.

In London blue badge holders are exempt from paying the congestion charge.

'Blue badges a lifeline'

Transport minister Jesse Norman said blue badges gave people with disabilities the freedom to get jobs, see friends or go to the shops "with as much ease as possible".

He said: "We want to try to extend this to people with invisible disabilities."

The Department for Transport said about 75% of badge users said they would go out less often if they didn't have the flexibility to park with a blue badge.

The National Autistic Society has been campaigning for this change and its head of policy, Sarah Lambert, said it could provide a lifeline to many autistic people.

She told the BBC: "There are some families that sometimes don't go out because they're worried about the stress that is going to be caused if it's very busy and very crowded.

"For lots of autistic people, they don't have as good an understanding of danger as others, so we know that some families are worried about their children running out in front of cars."

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane, welcomed the changes, saying: "By looking at non-visible illness, we can actually change the perceptions of mental illness.

"It's the first time that the government has shown that it's going to fulfil a parity of esteem between physical and mental illness," she said.

The National Police Autism Association, which supports officers affected by autism, Asperger's Syndrome and other conditions, said it was "great news" for drivers on the autism spectrum.

"Access to disabled parking eases the stress of trips out and makes independent living easier," it said.
Title: Re: Blue badge scheme could be extended to cover autism and dementia
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 21 Jan 2018 12:50PM
Now what they need to do is something that's years overdue - change the disability symbol.  One problem with any disability facility, be it a loo or a parking badge, is that people can easily assume that someone without a wheelchair is cheating.

That's understandable since theft of blue badges is a problem and also some people do cheat, but even so, it's time for another symbol.  What symbol, I don't know.  Maybe the current symbol with a plus next to it. 
Title: Re: Blue badge scheme could be extended to cover autism and dementia
Post by: Fiz on 21 Jan 2018 04:37PM
I agree sunny totally.

I'm glad the article stated that some areas already recognise hidden disabilities, a previous friend had a blue badge because her daughter had severe behavioural issues and she really needed it at the time because the daughter's behaviour was dangerous. I hadn't realised my area was unusual.

My dd is a carer for children with complex needs. Today she is caring for a disabled child in a wheelchair and an able bodied child. She attempted to book cinema tickets with Cineworld but you can't purchase carer and tickets for disabled people either online or by phone so her only option was to travel with the children and just hope there were tickets available on arrival. On getting to the entertainment complex all 9 of the spaces in the care park marked for the disabled were occupied so she had to park some distance away in order to get the wheelchair out and assembled and all 3 of them were drenched on entering the cinema. Thankfully tickets were available but Cineworld could do far more to help the disabled access tickets and parking. It was a pretty miserable experience for them.
Title: Re: Blue badge scheme could be extended to cover autism and dementia
Post by: gorbut on 27 Jan 2018 09:06AM
I think the odeon is better as I'm sure my son was able to book a wheelchair place online. I will ask him later. In our local one though the blue badge parking is often partly taken up by cars without badges but there are quite a few spaces and we have always been able to park.

Title: Re: Blue badge scheme could be extended to cover autism and dementia
Post by: huhn on 27 Jan 2018 02:36PM
fiz, right I got  for my  two small one the blue badge, they can panic when they  can not find the car and the second issue we had, they havbe two open the door wide to get out of the car and on top  both have movement problems, the big one with pain in the legs and robot style walking and the small one was loosing balance while she is walking on the  tip toes.