Blue Badge Scheme extended to people with hidden disabilities including people with dementia
Today (30 August 2019) local authorities will implement new guidance from the government on blue badges. The guidance extends avability of the badge to people with hidden disabilities, as well as those with mobility issues.
People with dementia have always been able to apply for a Blue Badge, however many people with dementia have their application for a Blue Badge turned down due to the previous focus on physical disabilities. Alzheimer’s Society has been calling on the Government to reform the Scheme to make it easier for people with dementia to access a Blue Badge.
Last year we consulted people affected by dementia to understand their experiences and used this feedback as part of our response to a government consultation on the Blue Badge Scheme.
Following the consultation, we were delighted the government announced in July 2018 that the Scheme would be extended to people with hidden disabilities including people with dementia. The Government published new guidance in June 2019 which will be formally implemented by local authorities today (30 August 2019).
On 15 June Justin Tomlinson (Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work) said
“It’s unacceptable that people with hidden disabilities still face discrimination when using disabled facilities like parking spaces. Extending the Blue Badge scheme is a watershed moment in ensuring those with hidden disabilities are able to travel with greater ease and live more independent lives’’
Local authorities will continue to administer the Blue Badge Scheme and make the decision on whether a person meets the eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge.
People with dementia have told us Blue Badges are incredibly important to them, enabling them to maintain their independence and maintain their social activities including visiting loved ones.
We are pleased to see the new guidance recognises that people with hidden disabilities like dementia may find it difficult to make journeys and therefore could make it easier for people with dementia to access a Blue Badge.
Find out how to apply for a blue badge here
Read our helpful blog post to find out how you can apply for a blue badge online