Forum

Blue Badge Scheme

I went for a ‘mobility assessment’ yesterday to determine my suitability for a blue badge. I failed it because I managed to walk 50m in a flat corridor too fast. I have very poor balence and didn’t exactly sprint (my sprinting days are well and truly over!) but I, according to the criteria I was not suitable for a badge. This despite consultant and physio supporting letters. The letters did not contain enough information, according to my assessor.

I was diagnosed in 2009, but this is the first time I have applied. I have read the position paper on the changes submitted by the MS Society and was really surprised that they did not ask that MS be exempt from tests. In Scotland, there are 10,000 people with MS. It is my belief that it would not be impossible for the Scottish Government to be kind to people with MS.

My alternatives seem to be :fake how well I walk ; hope I get called on a day I am not walking so well ; get the law changed.

My MSP says I need the support of the MS Society to change the law ie it must be the policy of the MS Society that all people with MS should get a blue badge as of right.

Anyone got any thoughts?

The people with MS who hop across the Andes etc then tell the world what they’ve done aren’t doing anybody any favours.Don’t expect the MS Society to speak up to support the membership and upset their chums in Government. If Scotland gets its independence it’ll be interesting to see if it becomes a land of milk and honey for those with MS.

Wb

hiya

i dont think that diagnosis should automatically entitle u to a blue badge-theres so many variants. trying to decide who does get one must be a very hard decision and not one i would like to be in charge of making if it had to be ‘one decision for all’

ellie

I wouldn’t feel comfortable being automatically entitled to a blue badge (yet) as my MS has been quite mild to date and my mobility is only affected during relapses at the moment. Even then I can still walk a long way (a mile each way on the school run is no real problem). I know this will most likely change as time goes on, but for now I’m happy parking in a normal spot and leaving the disabled spots for those who really need them. On another note I know of a friend who has a blue badge for having one arm amputated…can’t see the logic as his walking is not impaired at all! He never uses it I might add… X

Hello,

I think Iam far from a blue badge. I don’t see myself as deserving of one because i have ms.

But walking 50m in a flat corridor is miles away from 50m in the rain, crossing a road, avoiding kids etc.

I hope to trek across the Andes when im a bit better. Boy will i shout about it if i do!

Darren

Hi all thanks for your comments.

As I said I was diagnosed in 2009 and this is the first year I have felt my life and independence is being impaired by not having a blue badge.

Last year I would have automatically been entitled to a badge.

The rules have been changed.

It is interesting that some of you, although diagnosed, do not feel you want to apply for a blue badge. I am not suggesting that you should. I felt the same way from 2009 - 2013. No onw would force you to park in a disabled space.

What I am saying is that I think the testing criteria for someone with MS who would benefit from a blue badge, are inappropriate. I have been mulling over how I would test someone / assess if they needed a badge. The only answer I can come up with is to make anyone with MS eligable and leave it to them if they wanted to apply. Which is the previous system.

Don’t just tell me about how YOU don’t want a badge, tell me how the testing could be made appropriate.

I would then agree that people with MS (or similar) should automatically be entitled, maybe as long as someone in the medical profession is willing to write a report to back it up. No testing walking distances etc. by some jobsworth. I know I would never use a disabled spot without needing it (in the same way I would never use a mother and baby spot when my kids aren’t with me - I see so many people doing that when they have empty car seats!). It’s the same as when I was relapsing and my eyesight was bad - common sense dictated that I should not drive until I recovered (although technically I was still legal!)…you will always get some who take the mick, but the majority are sensible. Or is that me being naively trusting? X

I agree with Ellie and Darren. I wouldn’t consider myself as ever qualifying, even though I’m diagnosed.

It’s not just that I “don’t want one” (I’m not a driver, so it would be of limited use to me personally, although I realise it would also cover the rare occasions I’m a passenger).

I just think people a lot more disabled than me would be rightly angered if I was granted a badge automatically, when I make no secret of it that I can and do walk three miles or more. I don’t mean nothing’s wrong, and I don’t feel fatigued, and I wouldn’t be grateful to get nearer a shop sometimes. But I’d inevitably be depriving someone who’s struggling a lot worse than me.

So, in my opinion, there has to be a test. And whatever threshold you set the test at, there’s always going to be someone who just missed out, and feels aggrieved. I don’t think it matters what changes you make to the test; someone will always be just the wrong side of it. But making everyone with a confirmed diagnosis eligible, and leaving it to their discretion whether to apply, isn’t going to solve the problem. All it would mean is even fiercer competition for already limited disabled bays - including from people who could manage without. I’m not so self-sacrificing I wouldn’t have one, if the rules said it was OK. I don’t think many people would turn it down if offered.

Tina

Yes Pat, I understand that. M&B spots are there for convenience and safety reasons though, so ‘normal’ people should still not use them. Disabled, absolutely fine! It’s all just common sense and courtesy really. I’m very lucky in that my local (orange coloured!) supermarket (!) is a flagship store for the UK and has nearly 800 spots, 40 disabled and 37 M&B. So only at the very busiest times has there ever been issues and even then, not for long. X

I would think that warrants a stroppy letter to the management! Or even park across two spaces to allow wheelchair access (I should think that’s justified in the circumstances!) X

I’ve just applied too but think I’ll not get one. However my walking is affected. By 800yards probably less my leg is heavy etc. I can still.do it but its uncomfortable and varies to how much ive done that day. Then throw a three year old into the equation, rubbish weather i.e wind and things are harder too. I have had m s since 2004 but until recently was fine. Could walk for miles then a relapse hit and my left leg is now damaged. Its a hard test to gauge but looking at me I have a limp after a while but walk regardless as I still need to make the best of my legs I suppose. But a blue badge would make some things easier. More holiday parking for beaches etc that are a far walk away. Anyway time will tell but I’m not putting my bets on getting one x x x

I got mine over a year ago when I legs were really bad, I probably wouldn’t qualify as much now but there are some days I actually can’t manage without it. If my kids want to go to the park, I can walk around the park for a while if i can sit and have rests, but I need the car to GET there and there isn’t always handy parking without the badge. I volunteer at a centre which has no parking apart from a couple of disables spaces. If I gave my badge up I’d have to give my job up. I never use my badge if I am feeling fine, its a short walk, or there are limited spaces and someone else in more need might need it, but I am dreading my reassessment in a couple of years time. Unless I worsen substantially I probably won’t qualify and my life, and my kids lives, will be much worse for it. I will be at the mercy of small children and weather etc as Lisalou says and paying for taxis a lot which I can’t afford.

Amylou, thats my outlook exactly, I’d only use it where I needed to as whilst I can walk some distances I will continue to but some are too far when put with more walking after parking etc etc x