Thursday 24th February 2022, NCBI acknowledges the comments recently reported by Minister Rabbitte highlighting how the current Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme is not fit for purpose, particularly for people who are blind and vision impaired. NCBI has called on Minister Rabbitte to review the existing medical criteria to include vision impairment as a category for receiving a Primary Medical Cert (PMC) and to remove the requirement for specific adaptations on vehicles for passengers with disabilities.
June Tinsley, NCBI Head of Advocacy and Communications said “NCBI highlighted to the Minister recently why the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme must be reviewed as a matter of urgency. We know from the 2016 Census, the most common difficulty (at 43.3%) reported by people with sight loss is related to participating in leisure activities or using transport. This issue could be drastically improved if people who are blind or vision impaired had access to the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passenger Scheme.”
“In addition, NCBI currently have approximately 700 service users who are unable to access the Free Travel Scheme but whose sight is too poor to obtain a drivers licence. These people are in a very difficult situation without any state assistance to support their right to personal mobility.”
A review of this Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passenger Scheme is currently underway by a working group of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy. NCBI believes it is vital that the Government decisions made following that review must be centred on a rights based and holistic view of the lives of people with disabilities and not focused solely on the public purse strings or particular types of disabilities.