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Eastbourne East group striving for inferior British laws affecting the disabled to match those in North America, Europe and elsewhere

By Keith A. Forbes. Disabled, he lives in Eastbourne and writes, administers and webmasters this website. He is a member of the UK's The Society of Authors and an activist for the elderly and disabled.

Wheelchair for disabled

About our Sovereign Harbour Disability Association

We are the only voluntary Eastbourne Disability Group - Sovereign Harbour-based (in the town of Eastbourne but a separate community three miles east) not content to just merely accept current UK disability conditions but as once-expatriate British disabled activists our intent is to persuade our local authorities and members of parliament of all political stripes to finally get the UK to enact and upgrade disability-friendly legislation to at least match, if not exceed, the far more comprehensive disability laws standards currently in effect in the European Union, Canada, the USA, Australia, etc. There, they review them thoroughly periodically. In contrast, here in the UK more than 25 years have passed with no meaningful changes. 

We show much of what needs to be done in items 1-17 below.

We are a voluntary group that meets mostly online, especially during the 2020-2021 pandemic.

2016-2021 Chair. Keith A. Forbes, Flat 18, 16 San Diego Way, Sovereign Harbour North, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 5BG. 

Sovereign Harbour is the most easterly of the Eastbourne electoral wards. Before 2017 it was possible for disabled Sovereign Harbour residents to use a number 5 or 5a hourly bus to go downtown and get off and back on the bus at the same stance D bus stop very close to the Beacon shopping mall. But now, going into town involves a considerable disabled-unfriendly cross-town walk to get to the Beacon and going back home means an appreciably longer walk than before to get to the relevant newly-numbered stance on Terminal Road, now located so much further from the Beacon than before. Also, for the mobility-impaired who need a walking stick or crutches to get around Eastbourne, thee town has many pavements that are uneven, have been repaired often and are simply not safe to walk upon without risk of falling and injury. And in the Phase 2 2020/21 redevelopment of the town, disabled parking spaces that were once in the middle of the town centre have either disappeared or moved much further out, more than 100 metres away, making it more difficult than ever for the disabled to walk or wheelchair to their cars, especially when the disabled who can walk a little can only do so for a maximum of 50 metres without needing to rest.  

Blue Badge Disabled Parking in Eastbourne was reduced by 20% in Eastbourne town centre, in 2020 and 2021. But in 2020-2021 all other countries, without exception, increased the number of disabled parking areas. Even in the City of Hamilton in Bermuda, one of the smallest cities by size in the entire world and with Bermuda, only 56 kilometres in total land area being one of the world's smallest counties, increased in 2021 its number of disabled parking spaces by 28 to 73 after seeing what has been done in the USA and Canada, Bermuda's nearest neighbours albeit 630-830  miles away.

Concessionary free bus service into Eastbourne for the elderly and disabled is not available until 0930 hours, meaning  many cannot make it to town on the 5 or 5a buses until nearly 10 am, then have to walk further than before as mentioned above. 

Eastbourne, despite having the highest number of disabled and/or elderly and frail per capita in the UK, and with Eastbourne and Sussex police pledging support for the vulnerable on the police website, gets no such police support. Police will not ticket those who abuse disabled parking signs. Police have never prosecuted people who for years as cyclists have deliberately ignored no-cycling signs on Eastbourne's pedestrian-only walkway along the Promenade that was built to allow pedestrians whether fit and able or disabled and/or frail and vulnerable and their necessarily close-by carers to walk in peace. Until it was voted down en masse by indignant local disability organizations including this one, the 2020 Covid-19-related central government scheme to encourage more people to cycle instead of using cars or public transport led to a determined effort by both the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council to create a new pavement-using cycle route that included the removal of many existing disabled parking permit areas.

Caxton House DWPMinister of State (Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work.  Department for Work & Pensions, Justin Tomlinson, MP. He was understood in early 2021 to be currently working on an "ambitious and wide ranging" National Strategy for Disabled People. 25 years ago in 2020, some laws were changed to assist the disabled but none since. 

The introduction to the strategy stated:

"We in the UK remain hugely behind other countries in so many meaningful ways. The Cabinet Office’s Disability Unit is working with government colleagues, disabled people, disabled people’s organisations, charities and businesses to achieve practical changes that will remove barriers and increase participation. A key focus is the development of a National Strategy for Disabled People. This will put fairness at the heart of government work, to level up opportunity so everyone can fully participate in the life of this country. The strategy will build on evidence and data, and critically on insights from the lived experience of disabled people. It will include existing commitments, such as to increase special educational needs and disability funding and support pupils, students and adults to get careers advice, internships and transition into work, whilst identifying further opportunities to improve things. 

Our objectives for the National Strategy for Disabled People are to develop a positive and clear vision on disability which is owned right across government; make practical changes to policies which strengthen disabled people’s ability to participate fully in society; ensure lived experience underpins policies by identifying what matters most to disabled people; strengthen the ways in which we listen to disabled people and disabled people’s organisations, using these insights to drive real change; and improve the quality of evidence and data and use it to support policies and how we deliver them. 

As the coronavirus pandemic is the current priority for the government, we are reviewing our plans for the development of the strategy. We want to ensure we have enough time to get this right and undertake a full and appropriate programme of stakeholder engagement. People’s views and insights will be crucial as we work with colleagues across government, disabled people and other stakeholders on possible solutions." 

Unfortunately, a number of disabled organizations have expressed their shock and dismay about how the survey has appeared unfocused, asks broad questions about the experiences of the disabled without reference to the broad themes. On behalf of this group, this author has both filled in the survey form and recommending a number of ways to substantially improve the lives of the disabled, using the methodologies employed by the USA, Canada and the European Union but not yet in effect in the UK. For his efforts, the author was thanked by the Cabinet Office involved with the strategy.

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1. The current Equality Act 2010 - see - which replaced the earlier Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), is a watered down version of the DDA

It does not help disabled people living in Britain in the way the much more robust Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) - see - and  does.  Here in the UK, the legal and social welfare systems for the disabled badly need updating and improving. Yet local disability groups are not making waves, are not demanding legislative changes at local authority and national parliamentary levels. There is no comparison with the USA's powerful and effective Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar in Europe, Canada and beyond. (In Canada see The lack of UK legislative teeth has so infuriated some overseas visitors that they have complained publicly (see our Emails). We get them because we are networked with overseas groups. We have a World Wide Website duty to let all disabled visitors to the Eastbourne area who are long-used to disability provisions in their own countries being protected by law both in the public and private sectors, know they should not believe that similar comprehensive disability laws apply here. They do not, as we demonstrate clearly in numbers 1-16 in the following pages. As we show in several areas above and below, unlike the legal protections routinely offered the disabled by the police throughout the EU, North America, etc, we get no such protection from the police or local authorities here in the UK.

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2. Public and private buildings old and new are not legally required to be disabled-accessible, unlike in other countries

Tower of London, only partially accessible to disabled

For Tower of London, see 

ADA Accessibility Standards 2012Here in the UK, there is no legally-required disability-friendly physical equal access under the Equality Act despite its name, to any shops, stores, public buildings historic or otherwise for disabled people. 

They merely require owners of public and private buildings including churches  to make "reasonable changes."  See

But in the USA, also Canada, Europe and beyond, it is a legal requirement that all public and private building developments including hotels and those on historical registers must be fully accessible to the registered disabled. 

In the USA, the Department of Justice's revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (ADA), originally published in the Federal Register of September 15, 2010, adopted revised, enforceable accessibility standards called the 2020 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, They replaced the 1991 Standards. On March 15, 2012 compliance with these standards was required for all new public and private sector construction under Titles II and III. Since then, they have been further revised.

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3. Building Regulations and planning laws in the UK are not up to international standards for the disabled, elderly and mobility impaired

In the UK, national, regional and local government-regulated private and public-sector owned buildings used for residential accommodation of the disabled, elderly or mobility-impaired do not specifically require accommodation units to be disabled-friendly in accessibility or have lifts (elevators) or banisters on both sides of staircases or above-ground or below-ground garaged or disabled parking based on a certain number of non-disabled car parking spaces, unlike in the European Union, USA and elsewhere. Nor is there any legal requirement that areas outside the buildings that are not assigned car parking spaces be kept clear at all times for emergency vehicles.

UK planning laws are governed mostly by local authorities, with only limited oversight by national legislation and make no formal disability requirements whatsoever in private sector building development or ongoing maintenance or redevelopment. Only Northern Ireland is somewhat more disabled-friendly, for new buildings only. Further, beyond the UK, whenever and wherever any public or private building or civic improvement or town planning works or town or city or other municipal entity occur, when affecting in any way anyone with a certifiable disability, a statutory minimum written notice of at least one calendar month is required. Not so here in the UK where there is no stated minimum-time requirement.

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4. London Tube system not disabled-friendly in many places

Visitors to the UK who are disabled and UK residents are rarely able to go by tube or subway in London where so few tube stations have lifts and ramps. 

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5. No national and local authority Disability identification

disability symbolsIn the USA all who are registered as permanently-disabled carry a state-issued but nationally accepted identification card with their photograph, contact details and type of disability shown on it. In the European Union and certain other countries, similar identity cards are issued. Thus they can prove they are disabled and as such are entitled to use disabled facilities including having cars pre-registered for disability tolls exemption and other  relevant services both nationwide and abroad. 

No such registration exists at national or county (local authority) level for any UK-based disabled. Which means that when moving house from one UK local authority area to another, or applying for disability or seniors disability benefits or concessions from a new area, the disabled have to reapply each time, using the cumbersome method for each application of sending a copy of the official disability letter issued at national level. Making matters worse is that each local authority has different regulations. There are several private-sector Disabled Identification and/or Access card issuers, each claiming their cards, issued yearly or for three years, at a cost of £10-£15 per person, are accepted by various organizations, but to date they have not said specifically that they are accepted by councils or local authorities in lieu of an official eligibility letter. All the latter will still require you, when applying for applicable benefits or concessions,  to send annual relevant copies of the eligibility letter. So the private-sector disability identification card may not be of much value-for-money use.

Such a council or local authority-issued - legal government ID -Disability Identification Card should include:

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6. Blue Badge (Disabled) Parking in Eastbourne and beyond is misused, with no Police enforcement in most public and all private areas

Disabled Parking misuseUnder the Disabled Persons' Parking Badges Act 1913, the "Blue Badge" scheme is administered by local authorities. It provides parking concessions for certain severely disabled people to enable them to park without charge or time limit  in otherwise restricted on-street environments (or on-street parking meters, pay-and-display, disabled parking bays) and to park on certain yellow lines in England for up to three hours. The scheme has existed since 1971 and facilitates access for 2.6 million disabled people. The primary legislation governing the scheme is Section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 and sections 115 and 117 of the Road Traffic Act Regulations 1984. Section 21 makes provision for matters to be prescribed by regulations which are subject to annulment by resolution of legislators in their respective devolved jurisdictions. .As can be seen from the above, UK laws to protect the disabled from misuse of signed disabled parking places are essentially via local authorities, minimal when compared to laws in the USA, Canada, European Union and elsewhere and out-of-date 

Councils, most of which rarely charge offenders should bring penalties for deliberate abuse up to international code, not the pathetic £60 now, if imposed at all

It should now be a minimum of £160 (the average, in US $250 in every state of the USA), for first offence, double that for the second, triple plus impoundment of vehicle for the third. Only when scofflaws realize it carries a heavy penalty will they stop. Councils that complain they are short of funds could make £ millions by imposing fines on disabled parking offenders. A crucial, long-going but in Eastbourne and other parts of East Sussex completely ineffective campaign has been to pressure local authorities to ensure that the Blue Badge scheme is property administered and enforced. National Blue Badge statistics released on 20 January 2021 reveal that many local authorities are not upholding the integrity of the scheme. 

Disabled Parking misuse 2On 31 March 2020 there were 2,44 million Blue Badges held in England, 6.5% more than in March 2019

This increase was expected following the extension of the Blue Badge eligibility criteria which came into effect in August 2019. Local authorities issued 996,000 badges in 2019/20 and 26,000 of these were issued to individuals with non-visible disabilities under the new eligibility criteria. It is good that Blue Badges are being issued to people with non-visible disabilities who need them but it puts more pressure on a scheme that is already poorly enforced and makes effective enforcement more important than ever. Included in the Blue Badge statistics are the numbers of prosecutions for misuse of the Blue Badge scheme. The statistics look at local authorities in England in the period year ended 31 March 2020. The statistics show that 1,429 prosecutions took place during this period compared to 1,432 the previous year. The statistics show that 1,429 prosecutions took place during this period compared to 1,432 the previous year. Similar to last year, 98% of these prosecutions were the result of a non-Blue Badge holder using somebody else’s Blue Badge.

Despite the slight decrease in prosecutions, the number of local authorities which have a ‘yes’ policy when it comes to prosecuting Blue Badge misuse has risen from 66% to 69%. However, there is disappointment in the level of enforcement because only 62% of the local authorities which say they prosecute Blue Badge misuse actually prosecuted somebody. The remaining 38% did not have any prosecutions.  This means that only two-thirds of the authorities that have a ‘yes’ to prosecution policy actually use it to enforce the scheme. What is the sense in having a prosecution policy in place if it is not going to be used? While the prosecution figures for each individual authority have become slightly more widespread, the majority of prosecutions (53%) were recorded in London. Thus, those who live outside the capital are unlikely to see much enforcement in the local area. Enforcement of the Blue Badge scheme remains disappointingly slow. Enforcement is more crucial than ever considering the rise in the number of people who are entitled to hold a Blue Badge. All local authorities should be enforcing the scheme effectively. If a local authority has a prosecution policy, it is crucial that it is used to prosecute those abusing the scheme when necessary.  It is not good enough to have a policy that lays dormant and no action taken. The government needs to put more pressure on local authorities to make sure the integrity of the scheme is upheld.

Disabled Parking 3The problem has gone on for over 21 years. In his letter dated 4 May 2006 addressed to this author, Bert Massie CBE, then Chairman of the UK's Disability Rights Commission - said in part: "I have experienced the strong enforcement exercised in the USA and Canada which ensures that parking bays for disabled motorists are only occupied by those people for whom they were designed. I would certainly welcome similar legislation in this country. As a wheelchair user myself and a driver I too am constantly frustrated by non-disabled people stealing disabled people's parking bays. The growing anger of disabled people is entirely understandable and I have called on several occasions for stronger law enforcement." 

Disability Hate Crimes are constantly committed by Disability Parking offenders without penalty. Those with valid Blue Disabled badges, when they try to complain to scofflaws, are constantly harassed or threatened.

Blue Badge Disabled Parking Restrictions in rest of UK, getting worse, not better.  More and more councils were allowing Disabled Parking concessions only to those whose tax disc showed their vehicles were in the disabled tax class. But when the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) stopped issuing tax discs  and moved instead to electronic records, many councils are now requiring all Blue Badge holders to bring their vehicle's V5C Registration Certificate (log book) and to register individually with them, for a fee of course. But Motability customers (including these authors) don't have V5Cs because Motability retains them. Motability allows its customers to obtain a copy but councils should not be imposing such new restrictions on the disabled. In other councils, for example, Rother District Council, Christchurch and East Dorset, special permits are now needed before Blue Badge Holders can park for free, not all day, in council car parks. And in the English Lake District, only the first half hour is free. Disabled drivers with Blue Badges, are advised to avoid the Lake District because there are often either very few places or none at all available in Lake District towns. In huge contrast, in Scotland, disabled parking for permit holders is free all day

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7. Eastbourne does not allow a just-for-you Disabled Parking Bay at your home here in the UK

If your disability means that you need to park close to your home, your local council may not be able to help. Yes, if you live in an area where everybody parks on the street, you can arrange to have a disabled parking space created, but it will not be just for your car. Anyone else who has a disabled parking badge is equally entitled to use it. If you have private parking at your home but can't always access it because of how other people park, you can ask the council to mark the street as an access route. If your disability means you can no longer use the parking facilities on your property, or have a disabled-related difficulty in accessing it in winter or due to stone curbs that impede your path and could be dangerous, or some other impediment, you can apply for a reserved on-street parking space.


However, note that residential disabled car parking spaces provided under the Disabled Car Parking Space scheme are advisory only, and have no legal standing (unlike in the USA, Europe, etc). Their use relies on the good will of people in the community. Be aware this may cost the applicant. In the UK it will not be for your use only. Anyone else who has a Disabled Parking Badge can park there.

Be aware that even you are disabled in accordance with the above criteria but live in a flat or terraced house in a private off-street development where there is a common driveway but no garage and have an assigned regular (not disabled) parking space not wide enough for a disabled person to access or exit safely, you may still not qualify for a disabled parking space. The Council cannot intervene in the matter because here in the UK, unlike in the EU or Canada or USA, etc. there are no national or local authority residential or planning regulations requiring private properties to provide genuinely-disabled persons with disabled parking. Only in public areas or on public streets is this required.

In all the residential areas of Sovereign Harbour there are NO disabled legally enforceable parking spaces. Unfortunately, the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council do not follow the example of European Union, USA and Canadian jurisdictions in requiring developers of private-area properties to have the same disability parking laws and provisions as in public or town or city areas.

Disabled visitors will not find, when on business or vacation anywhere in the UK, disability legal protections equivalent to or better than laws applicable where they come from. The few laws or regulations that do apply are routinely ignored and there is no local or central or national authority to enforce them unless (a) the offences occurred in a public, not private place and (b) the local authority have the power and the will to enforce them vigorously. In nine cases out of 10 this is not possible and will not happen.

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8. Council Taxes (property taxes) exemptions are rare, especially for non-affluent elderly or disabled, unlike in Europe, USA. etc.

In the USA and elsewhere, property tax exemptions or heavy discounts for the disabled seniors, those over 65, are common. Their local authorities have long been offering routinely to their senior citizens over 65 mostly when earning under US$50,000 annually, the disabled of any age and military veterans. Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, and European countries have followed the US example. There, they either no longer charge their disabled or over 65 year old owner-residents any council-tax equivalent property taxes if below a certain taxable value or apply a generous discount of up to 50%. In stark contrast, most elderly in the UK who are home owners or renters get no Council Tax relief at all unless they are either earning a means-tested minimum income to qualify or, if (a) disabled and (b) can qualify in one-band facilities requirements where they live.

See below for automatic property tax exemptions in USA on a state-by-state basis for disabled military veterans who once served in the US Armed Forces:


 Minimum Disability Requirement 

Alabama A disabled veteran in Alabama may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service and has a net annual income of $12,000 or less. Exemptions differ between the state and counties, click here for detailed information.
Alaska A disabled veteran in Alaska may receive a property tax exemption of up to the first $150,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 50 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The exemption transfers to a surviving spouse if the veteran is deceased from a service connected cause.
Arizona A disabled veteran in Arizona may receive a property tax exemption of $3,000 on his/her primary residence if the total assessed value does not exceed $10,000.
Arkansas A disabled veteran in Arkansas may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is blind in one or both eyes, lost the use of one or more limbs or is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
California There are two categories for full property tax exemptions. Qualified veterans may receive a basic exemption if the assessed value does not exceed $100,000; or a low income exemption if the assessed value does not exceed $150,000 when the household income does not exceed $40,000. Both categories are for full property tax exemptions.
Colorado A disabled veteran in Colorado may receive a property tax exemption of 50 percent of the first $200,000 of the actual value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled. A property tax deferral exists for eligible veterans over the age of 65 and for active duty personnel.
Connecticut All eligible veterans in Connecticut may receive a property tax exemption of $1,500 from the total assessed value of his/her property if the veteran served at least 90 days of active duty during wartime and are honorably discharged. Veterans below a certain income level and/or disabled veterans are eligible for additional exemptions. Contact your municipality’s Tax Assessor for specific details.
Delaware There are currently no state-mandated property tax exemptions for disabled veterans in Delaware.
Florida A disabled veteran in Florida may receive a property tax exemption of $5,000 on any property he/she owns if 10 percent or more disabled from a result of service. If the veteran is 100% disabled as a result from service then he/she may receive a full property tax exemption.
Georgia A disabled veteran in Georgia may receive a property tax exemption of $60,000 or more on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled, depending on a fluctuating index rate set by the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The 2016 amount is $63,780; property in excess of this exemption remains taxable.
Hawaii A disabled veteran in Hawaii may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
Idaho A disabled veteran in Idaho may receive a property tax exemption up to $1,320 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 10 percent or more disabled as a result of service and reported total income of $29,640 or less in 2016.
Illinois A qualified disabled veteran in Illinois with a disability of at least 30-50% will receive a $2,500 reduction in EAV; those with 50-70% can receive a $5,000 exemption; and those with 70% or more pay no property tax.
Indiana A disabled veteran in Indiana may receive a property tax exemption of up to $37,440 if the veteran served honorably during any period of wartime and is 100% disabled as a result from service, or is at least 62 years of age with at least a 10% service-connected disability.
Iowa A veteran in Iowa may receive a property tax exemption of $1,852 on his/her primary residence if the veteran served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime. A disabled veteran in Iowa may receive a full property tax exemption if the veteran is 100% disabled as a result from service.
Kansas A disabled veteran or qualifying family member in Kansas may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 50 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount is determined based on income.
Kentucky Homeowners 65 and older or totally disabled as determined by a government agency in Kentucky may receive a property tax exemption of up to$36,900 on his/her primary residence.
Louisiana A disabled veteran in Louisiana may receive a property tax exemption of up to the first $150,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
Maine A disabled veteran in Maine may receive a property tax exemption of up to $6,000 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 62 years or older or is 100 percent disabled.
Maryland A disabled veteran in Maryland may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
Massachusetts A disabled veteran in Massachusetts may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if all qualifications are met. To qualify, one must be at least 10% disabled, must have lived in MA for 6 months prior to enlisting and have lived in the state for 5 consecutive years. An exemption of $400 may be received if the veteran is 10 percent or more disabled, a Purple Heart Recipient or Gold Star parent. A $750 exemption may be received if the veteran lost the use of one hand, one foot or one eye; $1,250 if the veteran lost the use of both hands, both feet or a combination of the two, or if the veteran is blind in both eyes as a result of service. A veteran may receive a $1,500 exemption if 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The MA Department of Revenue prepared a full overview of local exemptions.
Michigan A disabled veteran in Michigan may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The state also offers a homestead tax credit and property tax relief for active military personnel.
Minnesota A disabled veteran in Minnesota may receive a property tax exemption of up to $300,000 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as result of service. Veterans with a disability rating of 70 percent or more may receive an exemption of up to $150,000. Surviving spouses of military personnel are eligile to receive a $300,000 exclusion.
Mississippi A disabled veteran in Mississippi may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the assessed value is $7,500 or less and the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
Missouri A disabled veteran in Missouri may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is a former Prisoner of War and is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
Montana A disabled veteran in Montana may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount varies based on income and marital status, as determined by the Montana Department of Revenue.
Nebraska A disabled veteran in Nebraska may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100% disabled as a result of wartime service.
Nevada A disabled veteran in Nevada may receive a property tax exemption of up to $20,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 60 percent or more disabled as a result of service.
New Hampshire A disabled veteran in New Hampshire may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled, has lost two or more limbs or is blind in both eyes as a result of service. A disabled veteran that is 100 percent disabled may receive a tax credit of $700.
New Jersey A disabled veteran in New Jersey may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of wartime service.
New Mexico A disabled veteran in New Mexico may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of wartime service. Any veteran may qualify for a $4,000 reduction if the veteran served a minimum of 90 days consecutive active duty and was honorably discharged.
New York A disabled veteran in New York may receive one of three different property tax exemptions on his/her primary residence. The exemption amount varies based on type of service, disability as determined by the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs and the value of the exemption as determined by the county or municipality.
North Carolina A disabled veteran in North Carolina may receive a property tax exemption of up to the first $45,000 of the appraised value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
North Dakota A paraplegic disabled veteran in North Dakota may receive a property tax exemption for the first $120,000 on his/her primary residence or if the veteran has been awarded specially adapted housing. A disabled veteran with a rating of 50% or greater may receive an exemption against the first $6,750 of the taxable valuation.
Ohio A disabled veteran in Ohio may receive a property tax exemption up to $50,000 of the market value on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
Oklahoma A disabled veteran in Oklahoma may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The Oklahoma 100% Veteran Disability Tax Exemption applies to sales tax, excise tax and ad valorem tax.
Oregon A disabled veteran or surviving spouse in Oregon may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 40 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount varies annually according to income and increases by 3% each year. The 2016 exemption amounts are $20,158 or $24,191.
Pennsylvania A disabled veteran in Pennsylvania may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of wartime service. To be eligible a veteran must prove financial need, which according to the state is income less than $87,212. Veterans whose income exceeds that value may still be eligible.
Rhode Island A disabled veteran in Rhode Island may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence. The exemption amount varies based on county, the value of the property and the exemption category that the veteran qualifies for. There are seven categories: Veterans’ regular exemption, Unmarried Widow of Qualified Veteran, Totally Disabled Veteran, Partially Disabled Veteran, Gold Star Parents’ exemption, Prisoner of War exemption and Specially Adapted Housing exemption.
South Carolina A disabled veteran in South Carolina may receive a full property tax exemption if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs must include one of the following conditions: paraplegia, hemiplegia or quadriplegia, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). A Homestead exemption is available for all persons over 65 and/or totally and permanently disabled.
South Dakota A disabled veteran in South Dakota may receive a property tax exemption of up to $100,000 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. Paraplegic veterans may receive a full propery tax exemption.
Tennessee A disabled veteran in Tennessee may receive a property tax exemption on the first $100,000 of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled and has lost the use of two or more limbs or is blind in both eyes as a result of service. The exemption amount varies by county.
Texas A totally disabled veteran in Texas may receive a full property tax exemption if the veteran receives 100% disability compensation from the VA and a rating of 100% disabled unemployability. Partially disabled veterans and those over the age of 65 may receive a property tax exemption based on their disability rating and age up to $12,000.
Utah A disabled veteran in Utah may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 10 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The maximum exemption amount available to qualified veterans is $253,264. Active duty armed forces personnel may receive a full property tax exemption if he/she is deployed out-of-state for military duty.
Vermont A disabled veteran in Vermont may receive a property tax exemption of at least $10,000 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 50 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount varies as each town votes on the amount. The maximum exemption amount allowed by the state is $40,000.
Virginia A disabled veteran in Virginia may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.
Washington A disabled veteran in Washington may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount is based on income, as determined by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans with less than a 100% disability rating may receive a partial exemption.
West Virginia A 100 percent disabled veteran or any veteran over the age of 65 in West Virginia is exempt from paying taxes on the first $20,000 of assessed value on a self-occupied property if the veteran was a resident of the state at the time they enter military service.
Wisconsin A disabled veteran in Wisconsin may receive a property tax credit on their state income tax return for his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service or has a 100 percent SCD rating. The veteran must have lived in WI when they entered into service or for a 5 year period after entering. The exemption amount varies.
Wyoming A veteran in Wyoming may receive a property tax exemption of $3,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence if the veteran has lived in the state for 3 or more years and served during a period of war. Disabled veterans are eligible for the same exemption.
District of Columbia A veteran must be over the age of 65 or disabled in order to qualify for a property tax exemption in the District of Columbia. The exemption reduces the veteran’s property tax by 50 percent. To qualify the veteran must own at least 50 percent of the property and annual income cannot exceed $100,000.

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9. Disability Vehicle License plates for disabled car owners are not issued in the UK, as they are elsewhere

In the UK, unfortunately, there are no such. disabled license plates. There are no signs at all on any cars that the driver or a passenger is disabled. 

Arizona disabled license plate California disabled license plate  Missouri disabled license plate  Kentucky diisabled license plate  Arkansas disabled licence plate

A small sampling of US States with special vehicle licence plates for the registered disabled

Every state in the USA issues these. It means that wherever in the USA a disabled vehicle driver may be traveling in his or her vehicle, irrespective of in which state it is registered, it has a specific unique and current disabled registration. They also alert non-disabled drivers to take extra care. In all US states, an application from their disabled residents can cover both a disabled license plate and a parking tag (equivalent to a UK Disabled Parking card).

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10. Disability seating on Eastbourne and other UK buses and trains is not legally enforceable

Problems on buses

Bus priority seatingOn a UK bus, some front seats are clearly signed to give priority seating to elderly, sight-impaired or blind, wheelchair-bound and mobility-restricted passengers. But this is often ignored, particularly when in the afternoons when regularly-scheduled buses stop near schools after 3 pm. Until recently, despite signage directed specifically to help wheel-chair bound passengers, mothers with infants in prams who occupy the wheelchair space can refuse to move. The driver was not able to order her to make way for the wheelchair-bound and the disabled had to wait for another bus. A Supreme Court hearing on this held on 18 January 2017 resulted in the wheelchair user winning his case. See  It is hoped this will lead to a requirement by the bus company to the driver to insist the pram user move or if not he will stop the bus until she does so. This recent court case resulted in only a partial victory for the disabled bus user. Why because the law still does not make it clear that a wheel chair user always has priority, the bus driver must ask the offending pram user to move and she must do so by law, as is required abroad.

Disabled on Eastbourne buses. How Stagecoach may be able to help, see

Problems on trains

The sign below now routinely appears on Britain's trains. But it is often ignored by able public transport users including mothers and fathers accompanying young children.  

Local disability groups should now be asking their local train companies if, given the recent Supreme Court ruling relating to wheelchairs on buses (see above) finally getting some priority, the presently non-enforceable Priority Seating referred to below should now be legislated as enforceable. 

Disability seating signtrain services  

Photo, right: Southern Railway train signage for the disabled on certain seats

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11. Disabled Rooms at Eastbourne Hotels, guest houses and B&Bs are not disabled-friendly by international standards

Their websites claim many have accessible rooms, the British and European way of saying they are for the disabled/physically handicapped/challenged. They may be by UK standards but rarely do they meet USA ADA-compliant requirements. Unfortunately, here in the UK, unlike in USA, Canada, Europe etc. visitors who are disabled/will need to confirm in advance directly with a hotel that it has the kind of  accessibility they need.

On their websites, if they offer accessible rooms at all for the disabled, they do not show on which floor they are located, or what emergency measures are in place if lifts (elevators) are not working in the event of an emergency, when accessible rooms are not on the ground floor. They do not always state that some properties do not have lifts or elevators, as they should because some walking disabled may not be able to use a staircase or stairs, especially if they do not have banisters on both sides. Nor do they always state they also have Disabled Parking facilities. There are no laws requiring them to do so, nor are there any that specify what general criteria they must meet in different types of disablement, such as wheelchair bound or able to use only a modified wet-room shower, not a bath with a shower above it that you have to step over to get in and out. Most UK properties have no disabled-friendly walk-in  wet rooms. Other hotels claim they are disability friendly but their disabled rooms often have bathrooms with standard-length tubs not even supplied automatically with a safety tub mat. Unfortunately for both UK hotels, other accommodation and the disabled, when a person who is not really functionally disabled asks for a disabled room and one is available out of a very limited number, the hotels cannot refuse. Such a disabled room is often no longer available to a severely disabled guest. Tthere are no laws in Britain that require a hotel to ask a guest to show appropriate disability identification, as there is in the USA and elsewhere.

If when you get to a hotel, bring your valid Disabled Parking Card and ask to park in a disabled Parking area. If you cannot because someone else who does not have such a badge has parked there, lodge a complaint. It keeps a record of all cars parked at the hotel. If it will not contact the owner to move the car, then report it to an organization (like this one) which will do something about it. Merely complaining to your nearest (non-activist) disability group is not enough, most British disability groups will not gripe publicly or try to take it further for fear of losing their local council-funded support or other local funding. 

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12. Disabled access holidays and limitations information not revealed

UK-based travel agents don't tell you, but should be required to, that if you are disabled in a wheelchair or using crutches or walking sticks or walkers (Zimmer frames) and/or are  otherwise in any way mobility-impaired, you will encounter some substantial difficulties both on and off your cruise ship (on shore excursions). Here are the main problems:

Disabled Facilities on Cruise Ships

Unfortunately, despite what some disability-friendly holiday websites may claim, satisfactory disabled access holidays, while quite readily available in Europe, are not so in Bermuda, the Caribbean and elsewhere. In most ports of the Caribbean, disabled passengers in wheelchairs on cruise ships or traveling independently will not be able to go ashore and then take local mass transit (public transportation) buses or taxis or ferries. Only in the American ports of Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies will the latter be routinely available.

cruise ship

Cruise ships sailing to and from from US ports are required by US laws have between 15 and 25 disabled cabins and staterooms, and to make them more roomy than for the non-disabled. cruise lines. In the USA, they are required by ADA regulations to ensure allow persons who are not disabled do not occupy staterooms intended solely for the disabled and their caregivers or carers. (Disabled persons, if denied a cabin specifically for the disabled, under American laws have specific legal remedies if such cabins are instead given by cruise ship operators to persons not officially registered as disabled and don't have appropriate disability and ID documentation to prove it). No such regulations apply under UK law.

River cruising

(From the personal experiences of these disabled authors).

While river cruising is an easy and wonderful but not-cheap way to see lots of places, it is not ideal for any disabled or other passengers with mobility problems, for several important reasons. Most river boats do not have cabin and bathroom doors adapted (made extra-wide to allow access) for wheelchair users and some don't have lifts (elevators). If they do, the lifts may not go to all levels. Circular staircases lead to the least expensive cabins and are unable to be accessed by wheelchairs. Mobility scooters on board are neither possible nor practical. Getting on and off the vessel, especially for those with a balance problem, may be difficult. There are often steps up and down to the docks. Sightseeing in old towns with cobbled streets may be a problem. Not all places you visit will be wheel-chair friendly. Buses you take for shore excursions probably won't be.

For elderly, disabled or mobility-impaired passengers on riverboats there can be other hazards, again of the types not found on ocean-going cruise ships all of which have elevators going up and down to all floors.  Some riverside towns and cities have only a limited number of riverboat moorings. As a result, riverboats often have to go alongside each other. With their different lengths, sizes and gangplank placements, it is not an easy matter to negotiate them to get ashore, especially for the elderly and disabled or the mobility-restricted. Your riverboat cruise staff will ask you to go outside the ship, climb up the narrow staircase, go to the other side of the ship, go down that side’s narrow staircase, then cross over to another ship and do the same again. This poses unacceptable risks and dangers to the disabled, mobility-impaired and elderly passengers on riverboats.  

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13. Eastbourne & other UK theatres accessibility not enforced under UK laws

In Eastbourne see Congress Theatre, Devonshire Park Theatre, Winter Garden.

 Disabled visitors and newcomers planning to attend a performance should first discuss their needs and any special requirements with the Box Office staff when booking tickets. They will try to ensure disabled theatre-goers are offered the most appropriate seats. The Congress Theatre offers an additional service for any group bookings i.e. residential homes, schools etc. who would benefit from arriving early. Please contact the theatre at 01323 415528  in advance to arrange for a Support Usher to welcome the group before everyone else. Leave a message for the Duty Manager who will make contact as soon as possible. At the Devonshire Park Theatre, entrance for wheelchairs users is to the right of the building. Please make yourself known to a member of the front of house team who will escort theatre-goers to this entrance. For ease of access, if entering the building through this door, it is suggested disabled visitors and their essential companions if also present purchase their tickets on this side of the auditorium, for seats number 1 onwards. There is also an Essential Companion scheme. Application forms are available from box office by calling 01323 412000 or by downloading the Essential Companion Scheme Application Form.

Facilities available include:
• Wheelchair accessible toilet
• Blue Badge parking (three or more spaces, not unlimited) near to venues
• Infrared Hearing System (Congress and Devonshire Park Theatre)
• Induction Loop System (Winter Garden and Devonshire Park Theatre)
• Patron Lift (Congress Theatre and Winter Garden)
• Guide Dogs welcome
• Orientation tours available on request
• Brochures available in audio format, request copy from box office on 01323 412000.
• Audio Description provided at the Devonshire Park Theatre by the Friends of the Devonshire Park Theatre. Available Friday evenings and Saturday matinees of week-long productions.

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14. Eastbourne town centre NCP multi-floor parking areas not offer lower pricing for disabled, unlike European and North American facilities

Eastbourne, despite boasting it is disabled-friendly in so many ways is in fact a disability-unfriendly town. .For well over two years, since 2016, more than any other town in the UK, its pavements have been terrible, uneven, patched, dangerous to walk on for the mobility-impaired using sticks or crutches or to ride on in wheelchairs. It is totally unlike towns in the European Union, Canada, USA, etc. where free disabled parking is routinely offered in their city or town centre multi-storey parking centres.  In sad contrast, no such facilities exist in Eastbourne. Its few multi-floor parking areas have disabled parking spaces with a sign saying they are for the disabled only but do not offer discounts or free parking for disabled drivers. They are often abused without penalty by non-disabled drivers without disabled parking rights. Why? Because such facilities are deemed a private facility under UK law so are not regulated for disabled parking spaces. On the public road along the ocean front of the town are some free disabled parking spaces but these are also regularly abused by both locals and visitors. Shopping centres within the town boundary have lots of spaces for free disabled parking within a 3 hour time limit but when this disabled author did s spot check at Sovereign Village, 55% of the 100 or so spaces were being used by vehicles with no disabled parking permits. It is estimated that Eastbourne Borough Council, by failing to book miscreants, is losing about £650,000 in revenue in 2019 alone. 

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15. Pavement and dropped kerb Parking abuses affecting the disabled

Alone in the disabled world, the UK stands out for its chronic lack of action in prosecuting drivers of cars who park on pavements (sidewalks) or on dropped kerbs or both, thereby preventing blind or deaf or other disabled persons accompanied by their carers or spouses and those riding mobility vehicles to walk or ride in safety on the pavements and cross the road via a dropped kerb. Those offending cars and other vehicles impede or block the way and force those affected to cross the road in a more dangerous manner, to face danger from busy road traffic in both directions. There should be a single nationwide policy in this matter stating such offensive parking is actionable. Instead, every council seems to have a different policy with no action taken. Eastbourne is a major offender, including in Sovereign Harbour where reports about pavements blocked by offending cars have been sent to both the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council by the disabled using mobility vehicles, including this author and his wife, but with no action taken. Making it even worse is when offending vehicles and others parked directly or nearly opposite them block and so do not allow bigger and wider ambulances, fire engines and other emergency vehicles to pass through. Photos of offending cars, vans and trucks showing their registration numbers and when the photo was taken will soon be appearing on this and other local, regional, national and international disability websites.

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16. Police must act to protect the disabled. Major Improvements are needed in The Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales

Despite a definitive statement on its website that protecting the vulnerable - including all who are disabled - is a priority, East Sussex police will not enforce council byelaws to stop cyclists from cycling on the Eastbourne Borough Council byelaw-mandated no-cycling part of the Eastbourne Promenade.  Pensioners and disabled or frail and their carers use that particular part of the promenade not because it is central to the town - which it is - but especially because it is flat and wide and because of the latter they can walk in safety with their carers at their side to give them physical and other support. Eastbourne is the only seafront town in the UK with such a downtown part-cycle-free area. That byelaw dates from 2006 and was established primarily because Eastbourne as a seaside town has the highest number of elderly over 65 to 95, frail and disabled in the entire country. 12% of the population is aged over 75 years, compared to 8% regionally and nationally. The county ranks highest of all the counties in England for the percentage of 85 and 90 year olds .

 However, cycling is permitted on further-away parts of the Eastbourne promenade. At a meeting of the Eastbourne Borough Council's Disability Disability Involvement Group (EDIG) held on 4 December 2019 it was reported that from a police perspective the police are not looking to pursue penalties to cyclists. “Current practice is to ask cyclists to dismount. It is not a priority for police.”  It is astonishing that since 2006 when the Eastbourne Borough Council byelaw was made enforceable there have been so few prosecutions despite many flagrant violations. The council, because it has not been supported to do so by the police, has thus allowed violators galore, especially in the summer, to escape the £100 fine. Councils must see that the law is enforced and members of the public expect the police to act. 

Nor will they act in any other disabled-particular matter, such as in disabled-only parking space abuses in both council owned or street and private shopping mall car parks, or cars parked on pavements or dropped kerbs, unlike their European and North American counterparts who will in all these cases. Yes, in many respects the British Police are regarded as a model to the world, but in the particular ways described above they also have a terrible reputation, unfortunately also followed not only in the U.K. but also in other British Police Services in the British Overseas Territories (BOTs)  such as Bermuda, according to very recent and earlier press reports going back many years such as in Bermuda’s daily newspaper The Royal Gazette. Why is this? Because, unlike in Europe, Canada and USA, etc where the police are deemed to be law enforcement officers and do so, in Britain and  the BOTs they seem to be and act as mere community officers and will not assist in prosecuting those who mistreat the disabled. (This disabled elderly journalist author has seen this for himself when he worked in Bermuda and the USA. He has noted how in Bermuda the Bermuda Police Service declines to help the disabled in parking violations of the non-disabled, citing the UK Police as their example and in the USA. particularly in some of the post popular areas of the USA for UK visitors, namely Miami in Florida, Boston in Massachusetts and New York where principle convicted offenders in their courts for disabled parking violations by the non-disabled, because the police are involved, are Brits who say plaintively that the police do not charge them in the UK so they don't see why they should be prosecuted in the USA. It is not only not accepted as a valid excuse it has also become a standing joke in the USA that hurts the reputation of the British Police). 

In the matter of dropped kerb abuses at the end of your driveway (which in most local authorities - planning laws say must be provided), the Traffic Management Act 2004 applies. This act covers restrictions on parking where a kerb has been dropped for a number of reasons including for the purpose of "assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge".  Exceptions to this include where a vehicle is parked outside residential premises "by or with the consent (but not consent given for reward) of the occupier of the premises" but this exception does not apply in the case of a shared driveway; emergency vehicles; when a vehicle is being used for the purposes of delivering goods/unloading etc at the premises (has to be 'reasonable' and for no longer than 20 minutes); and vehicles undertaking any building, signing, utilities or sewer works or collecting waste on behalf of local authority, removing a traffic obstruction. If you think you could have a case under this piece of legislation,  complainants should first try to find and speak to the vehicle owner. In a friendly and polite manner, tell them about the act and that you'd like to get your vehicle out. If they refuse, call the police on 101 - not 999 (it's more than likely NOT an emergency and if it is, the vehicle owner will probably cooperate with you anyhow). Tell them about the problem, how long the vehicle has been there and that you need to get your car out. If they say there's nothing they can do, refer them to the Traffic Management act of 2004 (as it relates to dropped kerbs) and what the normal steps are. The police should be able to help you to take the right steps even if they won't do anything themselves immediately.

We who are disabled, frail and elderly, not only in Eastbourne but throughout the country, now request that the Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales include this complaint and accept our recommendations. Why? Because we want to see the image of British Police exceed in every way the standards of police in North America and Europe, not continue to be inferior to them in what they do for the disabled, elderly and frail and in not dealing with other major social problems concerning the latter in particular. We will be so pleased if the changes contemplated can achieve. 

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17. No council or government policy to the disabled have in their rented homes service animals and emotional support animals, unlike in USA, Europe, etc.

Note the differences between the two. 

Service animals - specifically called this to distinguish them from mere pets - are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. These tasks can include things like pulling a wheelchair, guiding a person who is visually impaired, alerting a person who is having a seizure, or even calming a person who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The tasks a service dog can perform are not limited to this list. However, the work or task a service dog does must be directly related to the person's disability. Service dogs may accompany persons with disabilities into places that the public normally goes. This includes state and local government buildings, businesses open to the public, public transportation, and non-profit organizations open to the public. The law that allows a trained service dog to accompany a person with a disability is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Emotional support animals (typically dogs or cats though this can include other species) - again to distinguish them from mere pets - provide therapeutic benefits to their owners through companionship. The animals provide emotional support and comfort to individuals with psychiatric disabilities and other mental impairments. The animals are not specifically trained to perform tasks for a person who suffers from emotional disabilities. Unlike a service animal, an emotional support animal is not granted access to places of public accommodation. Under the USA's federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), an emotional support animal is viewed as a "reasonable accommodation" in a housing unit that has a "no pets" rule for its residents.

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A Guide to US Disability Laws in USA


Benefits for people who are sick or disabled


Cinema free tickets for carers of registered disabled

Cinema Exhibitors' Association Card. A valuable service for the disabled and their carers, with a national card that can verify that if the holder is verified as severely disabled and by paying a small annual fee can have accompanying carer entitled to a free cinema ticket. The cardholder is the person requiring assistance, not the carer. Phone 0845 123 1297. Email To qualify, complete the online or offline CEA Card Application form; include passport-size photo and a copy of proof of eligibility such as DLA or Attendance Allowance or equivalent, pay small fee annually to The Card Network; allow 3 weeks for processing.

Citizens Advice, Eastbourne


Concessionary Travel in Eastbourne for disabled and over 60s


Council Tax Disability One-band deduction

Disabled residentGood but subject to certain conditions. Providing the disabled person qualifies and the house or flat has the rooms to qualify. It is required under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and its successor the Equality Act 2010 for councils to assist the disabled who qualify and reduce council tax banding for those with a permanent disability.

 It applies to only one place, the sole residence of disabled applicants. They should apply promptly. 

With no national registration methodology, disabled persons who move from one local authority jurisdiction to another and have previously had a one band council tax banding for the disabled, don't qualify in the new local authority until they apply and meet the same criteria. Councils or their appointed agents will visit the property concerned to confirm eligibility. 

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at United Nations


Disability Discrimination - what it means


Disability Hate Crimes


Disabled assistance at British Airports, often misused

A nice feature, handled very well by kind and sympathetic handlers at all UK and many overseas airports. Incredibly useful to the genuinely disabled, thanks mostly to European not UK disability laws. Most large UK airports now have special seating areas clearly marked for disabled-only. Unfortunately, because they are not completely blocked off from the general public, the disabled area at London Gatwick's North and South Terminals are taken advantage of by many non-disabled, some of whom wander into the disabled area to view the flight departure signs or to recharge their mobile phones or laptops or tablets or just to sit in more peace and quiet than on the non-disabled seating areas. Other misuse by the non-disabled is most obviously from Jamaicans flying back home, laden down with parcels but not needing airline passenger special assistance in other ways. It ought to be a legal requirement that only passengers who have specifically asked for such assistance, are given and wear the appropriate flashing cord around wear neck for when they are collected as when their flight is announced, should be allowed to sit there.

airport disabled assistance airport disabled seating 2

airport toilet sign for disabledairport reserved seating for disabled

Disabled Insurance Tax exemption

For basic details, see and  It currently amounts to over 12 percent of all insurance premiums. Presently, the only known exemption for the disabled is exemption from the insurance tax for Motability customers only. As there has long been disabled VAT exemption (see below),  surely this should apply too?

Disabled Parking abroad

Parking arrangements for disabled people vary a great deal around the world, but in the EU - which the UK left in 2020 - the rules are now quite standardized. You can now use a blue badge in most EU countries, not always at no cost. Blue badges are also accepted in some countries outside the EU. Apply for a temporary visitor's disabled access permit in each US state you intend to visit. In Europe consult

Disabled VAT exemption for certain items or work

VAT relief for Disabled People. See and for what qualifies and what does not. Be sure to ask if the supplier will offer VAT-free billing if the item qualifies. when merited.

Discrimination Law Association (DLA)

A Registered charity, a national association with a wide and diverse membership. It currently consists of over 100 members. Membership is open to any lawyer, legal or advice worker or other person substantially engaged or interested in discrimination law and any organisation, firm, company or other body engaged or interested in discrimination law. The membership comprises, in the main, persons concerned with discrimination law from a complainant perspective. The DLA was established to promote good community relations by the advancement of education in the field of anti-discrimination law and practice. It achieves this by, among other things, the promotion and dissemination of advice and information, and the development and co-ordination of contacts with discrimination law practitioners and similar people and organisations in the UK and internationally. The DLA is concerned with achieving an understanding of the needs of victims of discrimination amongst lawyers, law-makers and others and of the necessity for a complainant-centred approach to anti-discrimination law and practice. With this in mind the DLA seeks to secure improvements in discrimination law and practice in the United Kingdom, Europe and at an international level.

Eastbourne Borough Council's Disability Involvement Group (DIG) 

See  kindly shows a link to us and we reciprocate it gladly.  

Eastbourne Hospitals

Provided by the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. Hospitals are Eastbourne District General Hospital, King's Drive, Eastbourne BN21 2UD. Phone 01323 417400 and Conquest Hospital, St. Leonard's, Hastings. Disabled Parking is available for the qualified,    

Eastbourne District Hospital

Eastbourne District General Hospital

Eastbourne Seniors Forum


EU Disability Card


European Commission, Persons with Disabilities


European Disability Policies and their Coordination


The UK's Radar key will not work anywhere in Europe, the EuroKey should be obtained. 


A very good, albeit not cheap service for the disabled, more generous in some respects than leasing arrangements directly with manufacturers. Presently, only Motability customers, not those using other forms of car financing, get exemption from the insurance tax referred to above. . 

Office for Disability Issues, Government, UK

See Office for Disability Issues, UK Government, see

Sovereign Harbour accessibility 

Mobility scooter and wheelchair access. Four out of five Sovereign Harbours are flat, scenic and accessible for mobility scooter and wheelchair access for the disabled, not via the public Atlantic Drive and Pacific Drive roads but  via their flat scenic brick pathways (walkways) immediately adjacent to their harbours. The fifth, Sovereign Harbour North, is similarly accessible for its entire length on the south side and some of its length on the north side. For new disabled residents and visitors it is possible, if their disability vehicles do not need charging en route, to travel the entire two-mile route from Eastbourne town centre to the Sovereign Harbour complex.

Sovereign Harbour mobility path

Sovereign Harbour brick walkway

Sovereign Harbour flat brick pathway going around nearly all the five harbours, perfect for mobility scooters. Photos above cc Keith and Lois Forbes.

Sovereign Harbour Disabled Parking concerns

Presently, in the Sovereign Harbour retail areas, Disabled Parking Spaces available are at the ASDA/Crumbles retail centre (about 60 in total) and the Waterfront car park (20).. At ASDA/The Crumbles most of these spaces are close to shops and ASDA has to be complemented for having the largest number seen to date at any supermarket shopping centre in the UK. At  the Waterfront complex, all 20 Disabled Parking spaces, despite being on the western end, closest to restaurants, shops and services are at least 150 yards away from them..

In the residential areas, the complete lack of properly signed and appropriately bordered legally unenforceable disabled parking nearly everywhere is a major problem to all the residents who are disabled among its 7,500 residents.. 

The complete lack of any disabled parking spaces at any of the units of flats in the Sovereign Harbour area in their below-building or adjacent parking areas is one major problem. Another is that some cars are parked so badly that they impede and slow or halt the progress of emergency vehicles to aid the disabled.. This lack of residential disabled parking was never addressed in the Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document of February 2013. Nowhere in its content does it mention the need for disabled parking areas for disabled residents, or the fact that the latter, because of their disability, need wider parking spaces than the norm. The obligations of individual developers to provide not only adequately sized and enough parking spaces for the able-bodied but sufficient wider international-standard Disabled Parking spaces as well for the registered disabled, is not specified. Instead, what clearly seems to have happened is that developers have crammed as many parking spaces as they can into their developments, many of which are so small they cannot easily accept longer and wider cars of today, and with none of the undercroft and only one (see photo above, which partially but not wholly meets the standard) having wider and properly disability-marked Disability Parking available. 

When The Waterfront complex describes Sovereign Harbour in which it is located as "Eastbourne's international experience" and the entire harbour area has street and quay names from prominent places around the world, that "international experience" cachet should surely be followed by developers in creating parking and disabled parking to international standards in residential areas. This should be a requirement of the planning departments of local-authority councils instead of it being left solely to developers because their developments are not on public property. It has long been required and legislated internationally by planning departments of local authorities that these provisions be enacted on both public and private properties.

By this same author

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Authored, researched, compiled and website-managed by Keith A. Forbes.
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