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Blue Badge disparity for hidden disabilities

Thu 07 Jan 2021

According to research conducted by the BBC, eight out of 10 councils have higher approval ratings for the issuing of Blue Badges for people with physical disabilities than their non-visibly disabled counterparts.

Of those 109 councils who provided full responses to the BBC, 10 revealed that that the difference was greater than 50 percentage points.

Headway previously welcomed the decision to extend the Blue Badge scheme back in 2019, but is concerned that more work needs to be done in order to properly recognise the impact of hidden disabilities.

Sarah Russell, Headway’s Public Affairs Manager, said: “It is worrying that there appears to be a lack of understanding about how debilitating the effects of hidden disabilities can be.

“Brain injury survivors can be faced with a whole range of challenges post-injury, including fatigue which makes walking long distances difficult. They should be able to access a Blue Badge where they are entitled to under the hidden disability rules, which would be hugely helpful for them in living an independent life.”

The BBC also reports that the online process is overly long and complicated, meaning people have found it difficult to navigate.

Sarah added: “It is hoped that this will serve as a wake up call to councils that they need additional training in recognising the effects of hidden disabilities, such as brain injury, and the government takes the steps necessary to ensure the application process is consistent, accessible and fair.”

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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