The Government has announced new proposals to make it easier for autistic people to qualify for a Blue Badge. This important announcement came after several years of The National Autistic Society and others raising concerns that autistic people and their families were too often shut out from getting a Blue Badge that would enable them to get out and about and live more independently. We need your help to make it happen!

The current rules focus on a person’s physical ability to walk. But we know that, for example, many autistic people can experience too much information from the environment around them on public transport, while other autistic people might not be aware of dangers on the road. 

The proposed changes would mean that someone would qualify for a Blue Badge if they have difficulty when walking, if making a journey might put them at risk, or if someone can’t make any journey without help. This change would include some autistic people and the Government’s aims of the changes are to improve support for people with hidden disabilities. 

Last year, we asked you to respond to the Government’s consultation on its new “accessible transport action plan”, and lots of you did. This issue was one of the things that the consultation asked about. Your responses helped make this proposal happen!

But there is another step before this becomes the law. The Government has opened a consultation to ask for people’s views. Do you think these changes are a good idea? Please take part in the Government’s consultation to tell them that they should make these changes.

We think these proposals are a step in the right direction and could help improve the lives of many autistic people and their families. Responding to the proposals, Sarah Lambert, Head of Policy at the National Autistic Society, said: 

"The National Autistic Society welcomes this Government proposal. It could mean that many more autistic people will qualify for a Blue Badge, which can be a lifeline."

"There are an estimated 700,000 autistic people in the UK and whilst every person on the autism spectrum is different, for some, not being able to park in a predictable place close to a destination can cause a great deal of anxiety and put their safety at risk. Some autistic people can experience too much information from the environment around them on public transport, while other autistic people might not be aware of dangers on the road." 

“However, current Blue Badge rules mean that all-too-often autistic people don’t qualify. The National Autistic Society has raised this issue with Government over recent years and we are pleased to see they have listened to the concerns of autistic people and their families. We hope the Government will make this important change and we look forward to working with them to make sure that autistic people and their families benefit.” 

Please, take part in the consultation and let the Government see your support!