Why has BuDS Created the Fair4All Card?

Why has BuDS Created the Fair4All Card?

Disabled people exercising

BuDS is an organisation of disabled people, and we know the difficulties and barriers that disabled people can face while out in the community. Find out more about why we created the Fair4All Card and how it’s different to other schemes.

Although the law requires shops, services, and organisations to change how they do things to allow disabled people the same access as non-disabled people, disabled people often find it difficult to claim these “reasonable adjustments”. Also, many shops, services, and organisations find it difficult to know how to help disabled people.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made life even more difficult for many disabled people. The public health precautions needed to help stop the spread of the virus often do not take into account the needs of disabled people.

The Fair4All Card helps disabled people claim the reasonable adjustments that they are entitled to under the Equality Act 2010, and the exemptions from the Covid Regulations.

The Fair4All Card is completely different from the sunflower lanyard and other similar schemes used by some shops and other public places. These schemes have no application checks and so can be and are widely abused by non-disabled people. The Fair4All Card will only be issued to disabled people after a strict application process, to ensure the scheme is not abused by anyone. This leaves the scheme open for disabled people who genuinely need it.

How does the Fair4All Card Work?

The Card works in three main ways:

  1. It confirms that the card holder is a disabled person as defined in law, and is therefore legally entitled to adjustments and exemptions. BuDS experts will assess every application against the strict legal test.
  2. The card lists the adjustments and exemptions that the card holder is entitled to in law. Again, BuDS experts will decide this by applying the strict legal tests.
  3. BuDS will work with shops, services, and organisations across Buckinghamshire to help them recognise the Fair4All Card and to have confidence that anyone presenting the card is genuinely a disabled person who has a legal entitlement to the adjustments and exemptions listed on the card. Although we are currently working with places in Buckinghamshire, the card can be used anywhere because they clearly explain what the card holder needs.

What Makes the Fair4All Card Different?

There are lots of identification schemes for disabled people, such as the sunflower lanyard, “disabled identification card”, “autism card”, and several phone apps. However, none of these schemes have a secure and thorough application process open to all disabled people.

Most schemes do not even check if the applicant is disabled, and the few that do ask for proof rely on receiving a DWP benefit to confirm that the applicant is disabled. Also not all disabled people are receiving benefits.

Sadly, most disabled identification schemes are widely abused by non-disabled people and this means that shops, services, and organisations are often reluctant to recognise them. Another problem with other disabled identification schemes is that they often do not help shops, services, and organisations to understand how to help disabled people.

Secure Application Process

The Fair4All Card has been designed by disabled people for disabled people. It is different from all other schemes in the UK because it has a secure and thorough application process run by expert disabled people within BuDS.

As part of the application process, BuDS applies strict legal tests so that only disabled people as defined in law can get a Fair4All Card, and only the adjustments and exemptions they are entitled to in law will be shown on the card. BuDS will help disabled people provide evidence to prove their entitlement – we do not rely on benefit awards as proof.

Card Scheme Features

Each card has name and photo identification of the person to reduce the risk of the card being abused or used by someone else.

It also has a credible and efficient complaints program that means that disabled people who are denied support feel able to challenge discrimination. This also means that service providers can also report anyone abusing a card.

Recognition and Support

Unlike many other schemes, BuDS actively supports shops, services, and organisations to recognise the Fair4All Card and we give them free training and accessibility advice.

We are always expanding the scheme, and contacting more shops and services to ask them to join the scheme.

The Fair4All Card scheme is recognised by Thames Valley Police and we are working for it to be recognised by Buckinghamshire Council and other Town and Parish Councils.