‘Face mask exempt’ badges help 93% of disabled people feel more confident
According to a new survey, 93 per cent of disabled people who wear a ‘Face Mask Exempt’ badge feel more confident visiting places, while 88 per cent feel that they help to prevent unnecessary harassment.
Disability access charity Euan’s Guide produced the badges in June in response to feedback from people using its online review site.
Users of the site, the charity said, were worried about being harassed by members of the public or being turned away from places. This was also backed up by research from Disability Rights UK, which showed that nearly 60 per cent of people who cannot wear a face covering feared being challenged for not wearing one.
Euan’s Guide came up with the idea of the badge as it wanted to find a simple and effective way to prevent disabled people from being challenged and having to experience unacceptable harassment.
The scheme has been a success with around 17,000 of the badges, which are available free of charge online in the UK, given to disabled people who are exempt according to the UK Government guidelines.
Before receiving their Face Mask Exempt Badge, the survey revealed that 18 per cent of participants had been refused entry for not wearing a face covering, while 40 per cent of participants had been questioned by a member of staff for not wearing a face covering. These figures reduced to nine per cent and 27 per cent respectively since receiving the badge.
As a spokesperson for the charity states: “People need to understand that there are exemptions and that the reasons for being exempt might not be obvious. They also need to be educated that being unable to wear a face covering does not mean that an individual can stay at home and avoid going places.”
While the badges do not provide official proof, the charity states that they are designed to make the exempt wearer feel more comfortable visiting places where the majority of people will be wearing face coverings and to help them avoid embarrassing questioning and discrimination.
As the charity states, 47 per cent of people will also have another resource with them to help signal their exempt status, with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard or wristband also commonly used for those requiring additional assistance while out in public.https://thiis.co.uk/face-mask-exempt-badges-help-93-of-disabled-people-feel-more-confident/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Webp.net-resizeimage-10.jpg?fit=900%2C449&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Webp.net-resizeimage-10.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1COVID-19 Sector NewsNewsroomSector NewsThird SectorUncategorisedbadges,charity,disabled,Euan's Guide,face coverings,face mask exempt,surveyAccording to a new survey, 93 per cent of disabled people who wear a ‘Face Mask Exempt’ badge feel more confident visiting places, while 88 per cent feel that they help to prevent unnecessary harassment.Disability access charity Euan’s Guide produced the badges in June in response to feedback from...Liane McIvorLiane McIvorliane@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine