A student is trying to make the blue disabled badge more inclusive
Gloucestershire student Sam Vestey has been lobbying local MPs to include a standing figure on the badge to represent unseen disabilities.
The 20-year-old has a chromosomal condition and said he was often challenged by people over how disabled he really is.
“People can’t see my disability, they don’t understand how much pain I am in and how fatigued I get,” he said.
Mr Vestey has a chromosomal condition called DiGeorge syndrome and survived a pineoblastoma brain tumour as a child.
He has a disability badge.
“There are many people like me with disabilities that affect our mobility over time which means we need wheelchairs for when we are tired,” he said.
“However, because we can walk a lot or a little of the time, we get many people questioning our need for a disabled badge asking if we are disabled or not, especially if we don’t look disabled on the outside.
“DiGeorge syndrome gives me a cleft pallet which affects my speech and scoliosis which affects my back.”
Mr Vestey said he had no learning disabilities.
“If we had a stick figure standing up as well as one in a wheelchair, people would understand that there are people with hidden disabilities who get worse over time or hidden disabilities in general.
“I would also like more information talking about this on the sign as well,” he added.
National Star, a Gloucestershire-based charity which supports young people with complex disabilities and learning difficulties, is backing Mr Vestey and his campaign.
“National Star is passionate about helping young people with disabilities become equal and active citizens in control of their own lives,” said chief executive David Ellis.
“We applaud his determination.”