Press Release, 26th May 2015
Change Law to get Aiden his Blue Badge
Duncan McNeil MSP has written to Health Minister Derek McKay asking for a change in the Blue Badge law so that children like Aiden McLevy of Greenock don’t miss out.
Aiden McLevy has Downs Syndrome. Going without a Blue Badge to access disabled parking spaces makes life very difficult for him and his parents. Aiden has low muscle tone and sensory awareness. He often trips or refuses to walk and sits down on the pavement. He has a lack of safety awareness and is unpredictable and dangerous in car parks.
Duncan McNeil MSP said:
“If Aiden lived in Wales he would automatically qualify for a Blue Badge. There they have changed the law to include anyone ‘with a mental disorder who is unable to follow the route of a familiar journey without the assistance of another person.’
“The Scottish Government consulted last year on extending the law up here in Scotland. There was overwhelming support for doing so but nothing has happened yet.
I have written to Health Minister Derek McKay asking him to look at where things are regarding a change in the law and how quickly he can do it”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. As of now people can obtain a Blue Badge:
- if they receive the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA
- if they receive PIP and have been assessed as having severely limited ability in respect of ‘planning and following journeys’ or having limited ability in respect ‘moving round’
- if they have had entitlement to DLA terminated in accordance with PIP and immediately before that happened was a disabled person
- if they have had entitlement to DLA terminated in accordance with PIP and immediately before that happened was a disabled person with the relevant award of DLA having been made without limit of time
- Many people with Down’s syndrome (DS) can walk and are unlikely to receive the higher mobility rate for DLA. But many also remain unable to ‘follow the route of a familiar journey without another person’ throughout their lives.
- According to evidence, children and young people with Ds under 16 are likely to be denied a Blue Badge because they can walk and thus do not meet the eligibility criteria any longer. It is important to note that many children and young people with Ds can walk but still present a danger to themselves and others because of little or no awareness of danger from traffic. Moreover many remain unable to follow a familiar journey on their own. As a result children are likely to lose their Blue Badge for a few years but, when they turn 16, they could possibly obtain a Blue Badge again under PIP criteria and the severely limited ability to plan and follow a journey on their own due to their condition.
- INCLUSION Scotland advises that ‘from 17 December 2014, a new entitlement category applies in Wales for the Blue Badge. You can now qualify automatically if, as a result of a mental disorder, you are unable to follow the route of a familiar journey without the assistance of another person (Statutory Instrument 2014/3082)’.