Disability face mask exemption not being made clear

A whole load of orders telling people they "must wear a face mask", are widely ignoring the disability exemption.

Face masks are making life even more difficult for many people in many different ways.

I was shocked to get an email from Transport for London that completely failed to mention exemptions at all.  And I've since seen many shops also ignoring disability exemptions.

Whilst it can be difficult to pin down the factual and/or legal basis for the raft of measures purporting to "combat the virus", there is official guidance here from the Department of Transport.

Remember you don't have to wear a face mask if you are exempt and the Government provides Guidance  accordingly.  There is no need to carry an "exemption card" or anything like that as disabled people are entitled to be able to enter and leave shops, transport and other public spaces on the same basis as everyone else without having to "prove they are exempt". 

Equality Act reasonable adjustments for PIP

Akim was summonsed for a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) personal reassessment*.  He is 19 and has severe learning disability.  He was also awaiting the latest round of surgery associated with the hole in his heart that he was born with.

Akim’s mother explained to the DWP’s assessments agent that he was unable to attend and so needed a postponement of the reassessment process. This request was refused with the DWP’s agent demanding attendance for personal assessment prior to surgery appointments, which was too much for Akim.

Kester Disability Rights wrote to the DWP explaining that Akim required reasonable adjustments to the PIP reassessments regime because of his disability. These were a file review on the basis of specialist medical evidence and, if a personal assessment was genuinely needed, that it should be done by telephone with Akim’s mother.

The DWP completed the reassessment without a personal assessment and increased Akim to the highest rate of both components of PIP when previously he was getting the standard rates.

*This case pre-dates the lock-down.  All PIP personal assessments are now by telephone.