Last Updated: 10 June 2019
Created: 10 June 2019
North Swindon MP, and Minister for Work, Health & Disabilities has given his support to a new disability sign which aims to include people with non-visible disabilities.
The initiative is being led by East Lothian MP Martin Whitfield with cross-party support - and aims to remind the public that there are people with non-visible disabilities who need to use disabled facilities.
His campaign follows the experience of one of his young constituents who has Crohn’s Disease and found herself confronted by a member of the public for using a disabled toilet.
The new sign features three figures: one in a wheel chair, one with a prosthetic leg and another who has no visible disability. It is hoped to be installed in toilets, cark parks and other facilities to improve experiences for users.
Justin attended a roundtable meeting on the issue, which was also attended by MPs from both Labour, Conservative and Change UK; The British Standards Institution; and representatives from charities advocating for people with non-visible disabilities. During the meeting Justin learned more about the campaign and how it would improve day to day experiences for people with non-visible disabilities.
Following the meeting Justin also raised the initiative and new sign with the Government's Sector Champions for retail; transport; arts and culture; and sport and leisure – and was very pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response.
Justin Tomlinson MP said: “It is important to recognise that many disabilities may not be immediately apparent – such as Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s or Autism. I was blown away by the new sign. It is such a simple, but effective, reminder that we need to be more aware and understanding of these disabilities. I keen to do everything as quickly as possible to support this campaign.”