Okay, so I am aware that this may be a very controversial blog which is why I'm keeping it short. Before I start, I DO NOT want to offend ANYONE! I am only speaking from my own, recent experience with the rules and regulations surrounding the Blue Badge Scheme.
The Blue Badge Scheme is a great service, as it makes lives that tiny bit easier for those who require extra room, or who need to be closer to an entrance. Unfortunately, I found out recently that these factors only seem to matter for those who have a mobility problem. Since my recent operation, I have had to learn to do things quite differently as I had part of my lung removed. So, as you can probably imagine, I get breathless quite easily, I can't get in and out of cars easily without hurting myself due to the limited room in a normal parking space, and I struggle to carry bags/other items for a distance. It was suggested to me that I should apply for a Blue Badge - so I did.
When my application was received by them, I was sent a letter which said that I had been booked in for a physical assessment with a member of their team, who will decide whether I qualify for a blue badge. When I got there, I answered some questions, told them I struggle to breathe when I have to walk a distance from my car to where I need to be, and that carrying bags causes a lot of pain.
Unfortunately, because my legs worked completely over a distance of 80metres (even though I was struggling to breathe by the end of it) I was not allowed a blue badge. I do understand that the whole point of it is for people who have difficulty walking, but I couldn't help but be reminded of the questions that are associated with mental health and other illnesses. Would the outcome have been different if they could see my lungs? My disability isn't visible, so is it not classed as a disability?
As well as these questions, I had others. There are many reasons that people receive blue badges, sometimes even for a broken leg which is due to get better in a short amount of time. So of course, this is extremely important - but my respiratory system is equally as important as a broken bone, right?
I would love to find out if this, or something similar has happened to someone else. If this has happened to you, why not fill out the contact form below...