Motability, Blue Badges and disabled motoring
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What would you have done at the time and afterwards?

I am in my 70s.  I have a blue badge.  I also have a terminal illness which I don't like to discuss or see in print.  I don't even like using the preceding words.  At the moment my mobility is not impaired.

To mark my wife's birthday we had booked a table for dinner at a top class hotel restaurant.  

My wife and I parked in one of the freely available marked disabled spaces a short walk from the main entrance and I duly displayed my blue badge. 

The independently owned hotel owner was standing under the entrance canopy.  As we left the car and walked towards the entrance he called out to us that the spaces were for disabled parking.  I acknowledged this and said that the blue badge was on display.

As we got closer to him he then said “which one of you is disabled?”  I replied “you should not be asking that, it is sufficient that we have displayed the badge as required”.  He then immediately retorted “neither of you look disabled” and persisted to badger us on this in both contexts. He stood in our way and continued to harass us regarding the nature of the disability.  I informed him that he had no right to the private information he was insisting on. I advised him to go and research ‘unseen disability’ and generally, as he appeared to be in total ignorance of the laws that relate to the treatment of the disabled.  He continued in the same vein and I subsequently retrieved the blue badge from the car to show him, which was both unnecessary and humiliating.

I believe he is a drinker, and from his manner, I suspect he had been indulging that evening.

The whole experience was quite stressful due to the degree of confrontation.  He moved closely into my personal space and was quite intimidating.  I had to ask him to step back, which he did not do.  Due to the heightened stress, and my condition, I felt unwell for the rest of the evening.  I am still quite upset the next day.

We were so affected by the whole affair we decided not to eat there and went elsewhere.  Needless to say our special evening was totally ruined, and I honestly don't know if I will be around to celebrate my wife's next birthday.

IMO this man contravened the law relating to the disabled.  As a service provider he should be aware of his legal obligation not to harass a disabled person.  To paraphrase the law ““Someone is harassing you if you find their behaviour towards you offensive, frightening, degrading, humiliating or in any way distressing”.  I repeatedly told him he was hassling us to the point that we had to leave.

The foregoing took place at the entrance foyer of a public area.   It was a most humiliating and unpleasant experience.

I feel quite powerless, because the only nearby witness other than my wife was his doorman.  He is also prominent member of the establishment, both locally and nationally.

What would you have done under the circumstances?





Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 7,139 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Pistor and welcome to the community! I am terribly sorry that you experienced this appalling treatment from the owner. I would advise complaining, although I'm not familiar who deals with complaints of independent businesses. I'm sure another member will be along shortly to offer you some helpful advice.

    Again, I'm really sorry this happened to you.
    Community Champion
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    Can you report it or not? That is the only thing to do. Sorry to read that. What about threatening to involve the newspapers? Will that work or not? 
  • PistorPistor Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks for your replies.
    Unfortunately I lack independent witnesses, and I believe it would just be his word against ours.

    I have been quite stressed today, because I have had to confront my mortality, which I try to keep out of my mind.

    It also upsets me that he ruined the precious time that my wife and I. had for celebrating her birthday.
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Member - under moderation Posts: 216 Pioneering
    Pistor said:
    Thanks for your replies.
    Unfortunately I lack independent witnesses, and I believe it would just be his word against ours.

    I have been quite stressed today, because I have had to confront my mortality, which I try to keep out of my mind.

    It also upsets me that he ruined the precious time that my wife and I. had for celebrating her birthday.
    Your description of events mirrors my own fears- I’m sorry for your experience 
    https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/64949/feel-like-a-fraud-hidden-disability#latest

    I have thought long and hard about what I would do and now suggest what maybe you should do.

    when I get abused sooner or later- I will film showing both my picture on badge and badge number and invite person to report me, We didn’t get the badge by saving coupons or winning the unlucky dip and the assessed criteria we are eligible and nobody’s business.

    Further to this I would put a factual google review of the place.

    welcome
  • PistorPistor Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi WIBIH

    Thanks for your advice.  I read your link and empathise.

    This was my first nasty experience and I will take precautions along the line of what you suggest for a possible next one.  Unfortunately I decided to leave my phone in the car so it was not to hand during the incident.  I will not repeat this mistake.  I will have the phone in my possession every time I park from now on.  I will not engage with anyone negative until my phone is switched to video record.

    Re a review.  I am a bit concerned to go into print when I have no evidence other than my wife's corroboration.

    Regarding your autism.  I did consider the situation with this condition, just after the incident.  This buffoon would have behaved in exactly the same wholly inappropriate  manner.
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Member - under moderation Posts: 216 Pioneering
    Pistor said:
    Hi WIBIH

    Thanks for your advice.  I read your link and empathise.

    This was my first nasty experience and I will take precautions along the line of what you suggest for a possible next one.  Unfortunately I decided to leave my phone in the car so it was not to hand during the incident.  I will not repeat this mistake.  I will have the phone in my possession every time I park from now on.  I will not engage with anyone negative until my phone is switched to video record.

    Re a review.  I am a bit concerned to go into print when I have no evidence other than my wife's corroboration.

    Regarding your autism.  I did consider the situation with this condition, just after the incident.  This buffoon would have behaved in exactly the same wholly inappropriate  manner.
    Exactly and to explain my disability would then be used against me as a “communication disability “ no doubt letting perpetrators get away with it.

    Recording evidence of a crime doesn’t infringe human rights or need permission.
    My situation I’d say bowel problems unless pushed afterwards with video evidence to prove I didn’t start it.

    Your situation Sounds like equality/disability discrimination- Hate Crime.

    Shop with your wallet, regards reviews put something like “in my personal opinion it would appear”

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,941 Scope community team
    It's frankly appalling that you were treated this way @Pistor and I'm sorry your evening with your wife was ruined by his ignorance and hostility.
    I would definitely urge you to complain and to write a review. The purple pound carries quite a bit of weight behind it.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • PistorPistor Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks for your advice Adrian.
  • Maggiemay19Maggiemay19 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I have experienced lots of abuse for using a blue badge with my little girl who has severe autism with severe learning needs she does look ok but she's not she has no sense of danger at all and we'll run straight out in into cars or anything so people are very very uncaring  to us swearing and cursing at us .so now I am thinking not to renew  my badge
  • PistorPistor Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi Maggiemay 
    That is terrible.  I don't understand why people can behave like that, and particularly when a little girl is involved.  The only solution I can think of in these situations is to have your phone set up ready to video them.  Possibly to get back into your car and do it from there, if you feel threatened in any way.   Although I appreciate it would be difficult to manage this and your girl at the same time.
    As a comparatively recent b.b. holder I was unprepared for my unsettling experience.  From reading others' accounts it looks like I will have to be more on the alert in future. As well as the phone camera, I also think I will have to prepare some stock responses.
    I did not appreciate until now how problematic this could be.  It has got me thinking about potential damage to your car.
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Member - under moderation Posts: 216 Pioneering
    Pistor said:
    Hi Maggiemay 
    That is terrible.  I don't understand why people can behave like that, and particularly when a little girl is involved.  The only solution I can think of in these situations is to have your phone set up ready to video them.  Possibly to get back into your car and do it from there, if you feel threatened in any way.   Although I appreciate it would be difficult to manage this and your girl at the same time.
    As a comparatively recent b.b. holder I was unprepared for my unsettling experience.  From reading others' accounts it looks like I will have to be more on the alert in future. As well as the phone camera, I also think I will have to prepare some stock responses.
    I did not appreciate until now how problematic this could be.  It has got me thinking about potential damage to your car.
    I've tried to avoid using mine until over the weekend I couldn't feel my toes and limping as well with an existing issue- bet when I limp nobody will care and any other time I'm on lookout for hassle
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    edited November 2019
    I haven't read all the replies as I don't get too long in one go and I am also apologizing in advance for not supporting your viewpoint.

    I would firstly like to clarify one point. Blue badges are not specifically for the elderly nor are they for terminal illnesses per se. They are only supposed to be issued to people who cannot manage to walk 50 metres and that is a very simple definition. Whether  walking that distance is difficult or impossible due to limb loss or damage or breathing or heart issues doesn't matter, it's the distance that is important. So.... whilst I abhor the way the gentleman (if I should call him that) went about things is right or wrong by your own definition and description you should not only not be using a disabled space neither should you be entitled to a Blue Badge.

    Before anyone goes off at me consider this......

    The number of disabled spaces available are never sufficient for what is a growing minority. If, as you say, you are capable of walking further then you are taking a space that may be needed by someone who CANNOT walk or who needs a larger space to get a wheelchair or scooter in or out of a vehicle safely.

    [Removed by moderator]

    I have seen many elderly people park in a disabled space who then wander off into town and walk literally miles (albeit slower than when they were younger) and their only sign of disability is age and tapping a walking stick (not even putting weight on it) as thy wander along. This leaves 3 or 4 cars waiting for spaces who cannot leave the vehicle without either assistance or a chair or scooter.

    Perhaps this person who was obviously going about things in the wrong way but who may have a disabled child at home and feels very strongly whenever he sees people taking unfair advantage of a system fundamentally flawed.

    As I said, I am sorry if you find this upsetting but I have found myself in one of those waiting cars many times, unable to do anything else as I cannot walk more than a few metres without a wheelchair or electric scooter, and trying to get either of those into or out of a car in a normal sized space safely is completely impossible.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,941 Scope community team
    Topkitten said:
    They are only supposed to be issued to people who cannot manage to walk 50 metres and that is a very simple definition. Whether  walking that distance is difficult or impossible due to limb loss or damage or breathing or heart issues doesn't matter, it's the distance that is important.
    The guidance on Blue Badges recently changed. They're no longer just for those with a physical disability or those who cannot manage to walk 50 metres. Some of the guidance on the Gov site states you may be eligible if:
    • you are constantly a significant risk to yourself or others near vehicles, in traffic or car parks you struggle severely to plan or follow a journey
    • you find it difficult or impossible to control your actions and lack awareness of the impact you could have on others you regularly have intense and overwhelming responses to situations causing temporary loss of behavioural control
    • you frequently become extremely anxious or fearful of public/open spaces
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope, yes, there have to be definitions for mental health after all it isn't just about walking the distance but walking it safely. If, for example, a child has no physical disability but cannot be trusted to walk 50 metres in the correct direction then the same rules apply.

    My main point though is that there are illnesses and conditions and most illnesses are not at the same level as most disabilities, terminal or not. One major disagreement I have had in face to face discussions as well as online is that old age itself is not a disability but it can lead to a disabling condition. It seems now that people expect too much from an overused and underfunded system simply because they are not as capable as they used to be. There are many really disabled people who struggle to get the proper help and, as I said, it isn't helped by people who don't really NEED such help except for convenience.

    I, in no way, condone the manner of this mans actions and I have had similar incidents myself especially in the early days. I've had people, usually pumped on alcohol, start yelling at me in the car park very loudly and only shut up when I either got 2 sticks from the back seat or limped to the back of the car to use the hoist to get the scooter out. People only expect physical disability and, with the TV and newspapers vilifying scroungers are too quick to 'have a go' at someone they think is cheating.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • PistorPistor Member Posts: 7 Listener

    Topktten.  I am appalled by your heartless comments.  They are on a par if not worse than those espoused by the hotel owner.


    I could go through your comments and address them line by line by I choose not to be drawn into a big debate on the issues.  I need to keep peace of mind and reduce stress in order not to impact my immune system. I will also leave your comments to stand as a tribute to your  heartlessness and complete lack of any empathy.


    There are, however, some limited comments I will make.  In my region a blue badge is only given to cancer patients if they are classed as ‘terminal’.  A specific form is provided by the doctor when the survival prognosis is considered to be 6 to 9 months.  Like the hotel owner you force me to confront something I try to keep at the back of my mind, and I don’t like putting into print.


    You make your comments to me with absolutely no knowledge of my current physical and mental burden or indeed the debilitating results of really invasive and toxic treatments, and the period ahead.  I consider this to demonstrate ignorance and ill education akin to that of the hotel owner.


    You dismiss a terminal cancer diagnosis and thus its physical and mental impact.  I would trade my situation any day.


    Due to the highly inappropriate treatment I received, I will never set foot in that hotel or restaurant again.  Similarly I will leave this forum, due to the fact of it having members like you. I don’t need interaction like this in what remains of my life.  I am just about over that negative interaction with the hotel owner. It upset me for days. Your comments have drawn me back to these feelings again, and I don’t deserve that.


    These are my last comments.  I will permanently withdraw from this forum.


  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,941 Scope community team
    edited November 2019
    Hello @Pistor
    I'm very sorry you feel as if you need to withdraw from the community following some of the posts here.
    I just want to let you know that you are more than welcome here and if you do happen to change your mind, myself and the rest of the community will be happy to continue offering support, advice and friendship. We are a diverse community and hopefully you will have seen from the responses you've seen so far that the majority share your viewpoint and can empathise with your experience.

    I also want to wish both you and your wife all the best and to once again say how sorry I am to read how your outing was ruined by such insensitivity and ignorance.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,999 Disability Gamechanger
    Pistor said:
    I am in my 70s.  I have a blue badge.  I also have a terminal illness which I don't like to discuss or see in print.  I don't even like using the preceding words.  At the moment my mobility is not impaired.

    To mark my wife's birthday we had booked a table for dinner at a top class hotel restaurant.  

    My wife and I parked in one of the freely available marked disabled spaces a short walk from the main entrance and I duly displayed my blue badge. 

    The independently owned hotel owner was standing under the entrance canopy.  As we left the car and walked towards the entrance he called out to us that the spaces were for disabled parking.  I acknowledged this and said that the blue badge was on display.

    As we got closer to him he then said “which one of you is disabled?”  I replied “you should not be asking that, it is sufficient that we have displayed the badge as required”.  He then immediately retorted “neither of you look disabled” and persisted to badger us on this in both contexts. He stood in our way and continued to harass us regarding the nature of the disability.  I informed him that he had no right to the private information he was insisting on. I advised him to go and research ‘unseen disability’ and generally, as he appeared to be in total ignorance of the laws that relate to the treatment of the disabled.  He continued in the same vein and I subsequently retrieved the blue badge from the car to show him, which was both unnecessary and humiliating.

    I believe he is a drinker, and from his manner, I suspect he had been indulging that evening.

    The whole experience was quite stressful due to the degree of confrontation.  He moved closely into my personal space and was quite intimidating.  I had to ask him to step back, which he did not do.  Due to the heightened stress, and my condition, I felt unwell for the rest of the evening.  I am still quite upset the next day.

    We were so affected by the whole affair we decided not to eat there and went elsewhere.  Needless to say our special evening was totally ruined, and I honestly don't know if I will be around to celebrate my wife's next birthday.

    IMO this man contravened the law relating to the disabled.  As a service provider he should be aware of his legal obligation not to harass a disabled person.  To paraphrase the law ““Someone is harassing you if you find their behaviour towards you offensive, frightening, degrading, humiliating or in any way distressing”.  I repeatedly told him he was hassling us to the point that we had to leave.

    The foregoing took place at the entrance foyer of a public area.   It was a most humiliating and unpleasant experience.

    I feel quite powerless, because the only nearby witness other than my wife was his doorman.  He is also prominent member of the establishment, both locally and nationally.

    What would you have done under the circumstances?






    I think it is an appalling way to be treated by anyone..let alone the owner of an establishment you were booked in to dine at and celebrate an important occasion. I`m glad you didn't eat there...but I am sorry to read why. Best wishes to you and your wife. xx
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,999 Disability Gamechanger
    admin...with the way this post is going, please would you consider closing it down? Thank x
  • PistorPistor Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Adrian and Pollyanna.
    I did not intend to post again, but had to thank you for your support.
    Best Wishes
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,999 Disability Gamechanger
    Thankyou Pistor.
    Regards
    Pollyanna xx
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