Star campaigner Sam

National Star student Sam has launched a campaign to make the blue disabled badge more inclusive for people with non–visible disabilities.

Sam proudly holding up his disability campaign sticker
Sam with his dad and National Star CEO Lynette Barrett
Sam with Lindsey Holland, Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, at the launch of the new badge design

The 21–year–old has a chromosomal condition called DiGeorge Syndrome and he survived a pineoblastoma brain tumour as a child. He was inspired to launch his campaign because he and his family have often been challenged when using disabled parking spaces.

‘There are many people like me with disabilities that affect our mobility over time which means we need wheelchairs for when we are tired,’ said Sam. ‘However, because we can walk a lot or a little of the time, we get many people questioning our need for a disabled badge asking if we are disabled or not, especially if we don’t look disabled on the outside.’

In consultation with other young people with disabilities, Sam launched an alternative disabled logo. It shows two able bodied people with a third person in a wheelchair and the wording: ‘Some disabilities are visible. Some are not. Take care of each other.’

Sam’s campaign was officially launched in September. It has garnered support from the Cheltenham business community, including Cheltenham Borough Council, Cheltenham BID, Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, Visit Cheltenham and The Cheltenham Trust.

An A5 window sticker of Sam’s alternative disability logo has been printed and businesses and organisations are being encouraged to display them.

Sam has been passionate about this campaign for years. He gave a speech on it when he was in Year 8 at school. He has decided now is the time to act.

‘Only 7% of disabled people use a wheelchair. The existing blue badge logo isn’t relevant for the other 93% of people with disabilities. It’s time for a change,’ added Sam.

You can show your support for Sam’s campaign by signing his petition to make the disability badge more inclusive.