Disabled Card Group, Adult Social Services

The disabled card group project is a small scheme developed by Nottinghamshire County Council to combat negative attitudes towards disabled people who don't appear to have a physical disability, using disabled facilities.

Forms of disabilities are not always recognised through physical appearances. Residents in the Nottinghamshire area have been challenged by members of the public who can't see why someone who appears to be in full health, would need to use the disabled services provided.

In response to the continuation of disabled residents feeling embarrassed when challenged about their disability, the council has developed a disability card that users can show when challenged.

Before the introduction of the cards, the council firstly introduced a trial period of six months with ten disabled people from the local community. Feedback was extremely positive and the card enabled users to feel confident when using facilities.

The project has improved the lives of over 1,000 residents by ensuring they have the confidence to show their card if challenged when using public disabled facilities. The council has introduced a simple way for users to get a card by completing a form and providing £10 cheque, meaning access to the internet is not necessary.

As a result of the positive feedback the council is looking to extend the card for disabled children and the project has been recommended by The National Audit Commission as a scheme to be adopted on a national level by all councils.