Blue Badge Eligibility Extended

Changes to the eligibility criteria for the Blue Badge scheme will come into effect on 30th August 2019.

Following a consultation in 2018 the government announced that it will be extending the Blue Badge eligibility criteria to include people with ‘hidden disabilities’ such as dementia, autism and a number of mental health conditions. The new legislation has now been confirmed and after the 30th August 2019 people with ‘hidden’ disabilities will find it easier to obtain a Blue Badge.

From this date the assessed criteria will now be that a person who has been certified by an expert assessor as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes them, during the course of a journey, to be unable to walk;
experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very considerable psychological distress; or
be at risk of serious harm when walking; or pose, when walking, a risk of serious harm to any other person;
The legislation also removes the requirement of an ‘independent mobility assessor’ and is replaced by the term ‘expert assessor’.

Disabled Motoring UK has responded to the news by pointing out some potential issues that an increase in blue badge holders might bring:

DMUK CEO, Graham Footer commented: “DMUK works to support the mobility of disabled people and there is no dispute that people with certain mental health conditions and cognitive disabilities could benefit from having a Blue Badge. However, the charity is very concerned that from August onwards numbers of Blue Badge holders will dramatically increase which will put more pressure on limited disabled parking which is poorly enforced and in some areas of the country not enforced at all. We are asking that all local authorities and private operators review their disabled parking provision now, before the change comes into force to make sure that they can manage increased demand.”

Coming Soon! Baywatch Disabled Parking Survey

A common problem for many disabled motorists is not being able to park at their desired destination, especially at their local supermarket. The major complaint is that the disabled bays are all occupied with cars not displaying a Blue Badge.

Disabled Motoring UK’s Baywatch campaign seeks to address this. Their campaign researches the level of disabled parking abuse at supermarkets, by asking disabled motorists to survey their local supermarket car park. Specifically, they count how many disabled bays are provided and how many cars that are parked in them without displaying a Blue Badge. The other information asked for is details of the type of enforcement (if any) carried out by the parking operator responsible for the car park. Details of the operator and enforcement should be displayed on the signage near the disabled bays.

When the survey closes the results are calculated, published and sent to the supermarkets to encourage them to work with the charity to improve their parking policies with regard to tackling disabled bay abuse by using effective enforcement. The Baywatch campaign also aims to change public attitudes by bringing to the attention of disabled bay abusers the impact that their actions can have.

No enforcement can lead to tragic consequences, such as in December 2013 when Brian Holmes was killed after being punched by Alan Watts in the Asda car park in Biggleswade following a dispute over a disabled parking bay. This case is a tragic example of what can happen when people try to police disabled bays themselves.

This campaign was first launched in 2002 and over the years small improvements in the levels of disabled parking abuse at supermarkets have been seen. In light of the future changes to the eligibility criteria for the Blue Badge there is likely to be an increase in Blue Badge holders and therefore an increase in demand for Blue Badge parking. It is now more important than ever that Blue Badge bays are enforced to make sure that only genuine Blue Badge holders are parking in disabled bays. If supermarkets do not act now we could see far more incidents, like the death of Brian Holmes in 2013, born from the frustration Blue Badge holders have because disabled bays are not properly enforced.

Keep an eye on the https://www.disabledmotoring.org website for details of when the survey goes live!

Sign Up: Research Institute for Disabled Consumers

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) is looking for more disabled people to sign up as RiDC researchers. If you do decide to sign up as an RiDC researcher you will be working on behalf of disabled and older people to help ensure that the products and services they may wish to use are as accessible as possible.

The research panel will soon reach the milestone of having 1,000 members and as an incentive for signing up the 1,000th member to join the panel will receive a shopping voucher worth £150. There will also be an extra prize of £50 for one lucky winner who signs up during this promotional period too. You can sign up to become a member of the panel either by calling 020 7427 2460 or visiting the website

Starting Line – 4 Places Left!

Starting Line’s next programme starts on: Tuesday 21st May

At: Piece Mill, Horton Street, Halifax

They have 4 places left!

Ring  07776650896 for more information

 

Eligibility Criteria

Starting Line supports disabled people & people with mental or physical health conditions:

•     of working age

•     living in Calderdale

•     looking for support to access training or employment

https://www.scope.org.uk/campaigns/gamechanger

West Yorkshire Community Alert System

WY Community Alert is a messaging system brought to you by West Yorkshire Police.

By registering with WY Community Alert, you can choose to receive news and appeals, local crime information and/or prevention advice direct to you by email, text or voice message.

Registering for alerts is completely free and once you have signed-up, you can choose how you want to receive the messages and what you want to receive messages about.

Register for Alerts here

For the main West Yorkshire Police website, please click here

Deaf/Hard of Hearing – Contact Emergency Service by SMS

You can now contact Police in an emergency via emergency SMS – here’s the police’s own guide to using the system:

Emergency

If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. Emergency SMS is part of the standard 999 service which  has been designed specifically for people with hearing loss  or difficulty with speech. Since September 2009, the emergencySMS service has successfully handled hundreds of real emergency calls.  Thanks to this service criminals have been arrested, lives  have been saved and babies have been born safely.

Register You will only be able to use this service  if you have registered with emergencySMS first. Register now: don’t wait for an emergency. To register, text ‘register’ to 999. You will get a reply –  then follow the instructions you are sent.

In an emergency  > Text 999
We need to know:

Who? Police, Ambulance,  Fire and Rescue  or Coastguard.

What? Briefly, what is  the problem.

Where? Exactly where the problem is happening –  give the name of the road, house number, postcode or nearby landmark,  if possible.

What happens next? The emergency service will either ask for more information or will tell you that help is on the way. Don’t assume that your message has been received until the emergency service sends  a message back. It will usually take about two minutes before you get a reply. If you don’t get a reply within three minutes, please try again or find other ways of getting help.

What is an emergency?
Please do not send test or non-emergency texts –  only use emergencySMS for real emergencies. For example, if: • someone’s life is at risk • a crime is happening now • someone is injured or threatened • there is a fire or people are trapped • you need an ambulance urgently •  someone is in trouble on the cliffs, on the shoreline  or is missing at sea. This service works throughout the UK on all mobile networks,  it cannot be used from abroad.

The emergencySMS service has been developed by RNID, BT, Cable & Wireless, the Department of Communities and Local Government, OFCOM, the UK emergency services and all mobile network operators. For more information, visit: www.emergencysms.org.uk www.rnid.org.uk/esms

Not Emergency

(examples, My car gone, Drugs on the street, Crime happened, I am being bullied).
Get Police Help – Use mobile text phone 07786 200 200 or Typetalk 18001 101

Adaptive Clothing Suppliers

Getting well-fitting and good-looking clothing can be a major problem for people with disabilities. Here, we highlight a couple of retailers who specialise in clothing for disabled people and who take orders online or over the phone:

Able2 Wear

Able2 Wear describe themselves as “the UK’s leading supplier of wheelchair and adaptive clothing, working closely with wheelchairs users, carers and professionals over the past 25 years to develop a range of disabled clothing to meet specialist needs. Every item in our unique collection of garments for men and women has been skilfully designed to bring confidence, style and comfort to the wearer. From waterproof jackets and fleeces, to dropfront and elasticated waist trousers, our clothing looks good and feels great; no matter what the occasion.”

Website: www.able2wear.co.uk More information, or to place an order call: 0141 775 3738

Adaptawear

Adaptawear’s clothing has been designed to help independent living and assisted dressing with the aim to make getting dressed easier and less painful for both the wearer and carer. Adaptawear designs and manufacturers a range of ladies and gents open back and drop front trousers, open back shirts and blouses, dresses, skirts, open back nighties and front fastening bras. They also sell a selection of everyday essentials aimed at making people comfortable day and night. Adaptawear clothes are ideal for arthritis, stroke, parkinsons, incontinence and dementia sufferers as well as people of all ages who struggle with buttons and zips. The easy fit clothes are made from quality and natural fabrics to provide maximum comfort.

Website: www.adaptawear.com More information or to place an order call: 0800 051 1931 or 0845 643 9492.

Dressability Clothing Service

Dressability is one of only two independent clothing services in the UK which caters specifically for the needs of disabled people.

They believe that people with disabilities and the over 65’s are entitled to wear clothing that enables them to retain their individuality, maintain their independence and have dignity.

To make life easier Dressability provides a low cost clothing alteration and dressmaking service for people with disabilities who need their clothes to fit well, feel comfortable and remain stylish.

Dressability is a registered charity which has a board of trustees who are legally responsible for all the charity´s activities.

How to get in touch – Telephone: 01793 512878 – Email: mail@dressability.org.uk – Web: www.dressability.org.uk

Starting Line Employment Service

Starting Line is an employment service which supports disabled people of working age living in Calderdale to find, apply for and keep a job.

This service is tailored to the individual and each customer is supported by a specialist Employment Advisor to prepare them for work, training or for a statutory work programme plus further understand their career goals and how to achieve them.

The service aims to

  • grow confidence, assertiveness and independence
  • develop important employability skills
  • support in making life-changing career decisions
  • find paid employment

What they offer

  • bespoke employment workshops
  • valuable work experience
  • interview preparation skills
  • employment opportunities
  • on-going support to both customer and employer

To register for Starting Line please complete their online application form or if you require further information, call 07850 972 391 or email startingline@scope.org.uk

Referrals can also be made directly from an organisation with prior consent from the customer.

Next Course starts on: Tuesday 21st May

At: Piece Mill, Horton Street, Halifax

Ring  07776650896 for more information