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hidden disabilities

New 'Please Offer Me a Seat' badge launched for public transport

The “Please Offer Me a Seat” badge and card are designed for people who have hidden disabilities.

TRANSPORT FOR IRELAND – the communications and journey planning wing of the National Transport Authority – has launched a new badge and card for people with hidden disabilities to use when on public transport.

The “Please Offer Me a Seat” badge and card are designed for people who have hidden disabilities which may not be visible to other public transport users. Examples of hidden disabilities fibromyalgia, autism, head injuries, chronic pain, among many others.

According to TFI, if a passenger with a hidden disability has trouble standing while using public transport, they can use the badge or card to subtly alert other passengers that they would welcome being offered a seat.

The initiative has the support of Invisible Disability Ireland. Emily Larkin – founder director of Invisible Disability Ireland – said invisible disabilities are “no less challenging and can hinder a person’s efforts to go to school, work, socialise, and more”.

“One in 7 people in Ireland have a disability and about 80%of disabilities have invisible impairments, meaning they are not immediately apparent,” she said.

The badge and card will “ensure that people with hidden disabilities are eligible for a seat in priority areas on public transport”, Larkin said. It will also help raise awareness of hidden disabilities among the general public. 

Dominic Hannigan, of the Public Transport Regulation section of the NTA, said that it was important that “public transport is as inclusive and accessible for people of varying abilities as possible”.

“Public transport is for everyone and any measure that assists our passengers in feeling as comfortable as possible while using our services is welcome.”

 The badge and card can be used on Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann- Irish Rail, Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland, and TFI Local Link services, and people can contact these services to obtain one. 

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