Reform Needed in Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme, says NCBI

Pic: NCBI.

The National Council for the Blind (NCBI) says the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme must be reformed as a matter of urgency and access given to people who are blind or vision impaired to the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme.

The council wants existing medical criteria to include vision impairment as a category for receiving a Primary Medical Cert and to remove the requirement for specific adaptations on vehicles for passengers with disabilities.

In addition, NCBI currently has approximately 700 service users who are unable to access the Free Travel Scheme but whose sight is too poor to obtain a drivers licence.

Supports to enable access to transport is also required to honour this group’s right to personal mobility.

Accepting that a review is underway by a working group of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, NCBI believes that it is vital that Government decisions made following the review should not be focused solely on the public purse or particular types of disabilities.

Figures from the 2016 Census show the most common difficulty (at 43.3%) reported by people with sight loss is related to participating in leisure activities or using transport.