Badge launched for people with invisible disabilities on public transport
"It is important that public transport is as inclusive and accessible for people of varying abilities as possible."
A new badge and card has been launched to assist people with invisible disabilities while they use public transport.
The "Please Offer Me A Seat" badge and card was launched on Sunday (28 August).
The badge was launched by Transport For Ireland (TFI) alongside Invisible Disability Ireland.
If a passenger with an invisible disability has trouble while standing on public transport, the badge can let them signal to passengers to offer them a seat.
Examples of invisible disabilities include fibromyalgia, autism, head injuries, chronic pain, poor balance and multiple sclerosis, along with more.
The badge and card is eligible to be used on Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann- Irish Rail, Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland, and TFI Local Link services.
“It is important that public transport is as inclusive and accessible for people of varying abilities as possible," said Dominic Hannigan, Public Transport Regulation at the NTA.
"Public transport is for everyone and any measure that assists our passengers in feeling as comfortable as possible while using our services is welcome.
"I encourage passengers with hidden disabilities to contact their local public transport operator to obtain a card or badge and I hope other passengers will be understanding of those who indicate that they would appreciate being offered a seat.”
One in 7 people in Ireland have a disability, with 80% of those having invisible impairments.
"Invisible disabilities are no less challenging and can hinder a person’s efforts to go to school, work, socialise, and more," said Emily Larkin, Founder and Director of Invisible Disability Ireland.
"Although people with invisible disabilities make up a large percentage of the disability population, they have little representation, awareness, understanding or support.
"Not only will the “Please Offer Me a Seat” Badge and Card ensure that people with hidden disabilities are eligible for a seat in priority areas on public transport, I also hope that this will help raise awareness and promote a greater understanding of invisible disabilities amongst the general public.”
Passengers who require a badge or card can contact their local TFI public transport operator to receive one.