They haven’t even got a wheelchair! Why Blue Badges can start a revolution
Category: Blogger's Corner
We love a bit of good news. This month we’ve been loudly cheering the Government announcement that people with hidden disabilities, including autism and mental health conditions, will have access to blue badges that allow them parking privileges.
On the surface, it’s a step to removing the barriers many people face to travel. People that are often overlooked in the push to equality and parity in society. The new recipients of blue badges will be those with hidden disabilities. These have no physical signs to the outside world but are still disabilities under the Equality Act. They include, but are not limited to, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and mental health.
How to get a blue badge?
To get a badge people will now need to show they:
cannot travel without risking serious harm to either their health or safety or someone else’s (this has been praised by parents of young autistic children)
cannot travel without considerable psychological distress
have very considerable difficulty when walking
We applaud this move by the government, and the foresight of the 6,000 people who took part in the consultation. It shows we are moving closer to a society in which we take mental health problems as seriously as we take physical health problems. Both can change and shape people’s lives. Both mean some people need extra support to start from an equal point.
Definitions of disability
On a deeper level, this announcement shows a serious turn towards reconsidering disability and equality. We live in a society where people define disability by wheelchairs, but there’s a wealth of concerns and possibilities among our populations that go much deeper. The Government has taken a sensible step that brings this discussion to the foreground, but they can go further. We all can.
We need to raise awareness about assistive technology solutions. These are small changes that can help those with hidden disabilities to manage things easier. Examples include making sure websites are accessible to all in their fonts, colours and content. That people have the right support they need in the workplace. That government policy is being played out as well behind closed doors as it is in public car parks.
For employers, these may be simple strategies such as using voice mail for basic communications rather than e-mail or written memos. Or using text-to-speech software to listen to text such as Texthelp Read & Write and ClaroRead. This is not just a legal obligation (to make “reasonable adjustments for staff” under the Equality Act) but will increase productivity and job satisfaction for employees.
Small changes, big impacts. We’re leading the charge towards inclusive employment that makes a real difference. Talk to us today about our workplace surveys that help you build a stronger, happier workforce.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work
environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your
diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Did you know that users who have filled in their profile details are 42 times more likely to get matched with the right employer?
Help us find the best workplace for you by sharing more about yourself.
We will never disclose your information with others.
Shaw Trust explains how to disclose mental illness at work
The Shaw Trust take you through how to positively disclose mental health in the workplace and how they can support you.
We all want to be valued for who we really are in the workplace. One of the big...
Remember hidden disabilities when building accessible websites
Not all disabilities are obvious. LeeAnn Kinney puts the spotlight on the impairments we tend to ignore.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were headed up to a high floor in a tall...