In August 2019 the criteria for eligibility for a blue badge was widened to include those with non- physical disabilities. This badge allows easier access to shops and services by permitting parking in disabled bays. This move was welcomed by Jane Harris, then Director of External Affairs at the National Autistic society, who commented ‘’The changes will make a huge difference to thousands of autistic people and their families across England – helping them to go out in the way many others take for granted. Just leaving the house is incredibly difficult for many autistic people and involves detailed preparation. Having a blue badge will be life-changing and help many to reduce loneliness and isolation”. Despite the amended guidelines not everyone with a non-physical disability will be awarded a badge. It remains in the power of the local authority to decide if an applicant is eligible.
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