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Please Offer me a Seat

Transport for London (TFL) is trialling a new badge, specifically for people with invisible illnesses.

Would you like to see this badge available for use on public transport across Britain?

Badge%20-%20edited.jpg

If you're interested in taking part in the trial, you can get in touch with the research agency 2CV, who are working with TFL on the trial, at tfltrial@2cv.com

 

SO: I don't live in London, and I don't (cannot) use public transport.

BUT, it seems to me that the success of something like this will rest on public awareness of the badge and what it means.
Right now it looks like something I could knock up in 15 minutes in Powerpoint or another drawing program.
What it does not have is any air of officialdom, or anything that would prevent it being copied.

If it was to be handed out by (say) an MS Nurse, and carried a hologram anti-copy device, and was widely publicised - then it might work.

Geoff

Hi Geoff,

I think the notion of officialdom or lack of in this case does not necessarily mean that the badge would not be an effective aid, the similarly designed 'baby on board' badges went on a similar trial basis and now reflect this.

I think it's more about decency in a general sense - I'm sure that someone will not always be offered a seat but I like to think that if someone was wearing a badge with this message regardless of its design, they wouldn't question its authenticity, but simply be aware to offer their seat.

Hopefully feedback and response from the trials will be positive, leading to a nice launch campaign for public awareness to boot.

Oliver 

My first impression when I saw the badge was that it would be a badge worn by someone with a severe speech impairment or one worn by someone with severe learning difficulties.

I have MS

Even if I lived in London or were a public transport user (I am neither), I wouldn't be seen dead wearing a badge like that. And I'm a middle aged woman who's also a wheelchair user, not exactly a style warrior. 

Sue

Thanks, Sue. 

But for non-wheelchair users and in peak commuting times, regardless of style, it could be of benefit - I understand that it might not be for everyone but for example, Tasha, who admits at first being self-conscious of wearing the badge but the experience itself outweighed this, you can be read Tasha's experience wearing the badge here: http://mssoc.uk/2foRs1x 

Oliver

I have MS

I loath both nudge and identity politics. So NO thanks.

I have MS

Oliver, I've thought of a better badge:

"Mrs May stole my motability car. Give me your seat."

Come on we know this is about pushing up the insurance bill for Transport for London.

Mrs May has taken thousands of cars - with seat belts - a safe form of transport from MSers.

The government is worried - how can these policy changes - pushing sick people back to work and grabbing motability cars, be done without pushing up personal injury claims.

 

PJ

Transport for London have had "Baby on Board" badges for pregnant women for a long time - they are obviously not official documents with statutory rights attached but they do appear to give a bit of a "nudge towards politeness" for other passengers and they seem to help a bit. I use crutches and have obvious walking problems and, on the very rare occassions I go to London now, I have actually found passengers on the Tube very polite. Would NEVER attempt it in rush hour though.

I think 'nudge towards politeness' is a good way of putting it, Boblatina.

Oliver

I think it's worth a try......if it helps just a few people then it's a positive!

Pollx

I think it's worth a try......if it helps just a few people then it's a positive!

Pollx

I have MS

I'm a daily commuter and think it's a great idea.  I'm newly diagnosed and lucky enough to be currently well and healthy, by the episode which lead to my diagnosis was numb toes/ feet.  Not painful but not comfortable to stand for long periods on either - and not great for balance. I found myself having to get an earlier train to be able to get a seat as a result. A badge like this would have been great - and given me the courage to request a seat.  

i have no issues with it style wise - it's much like the baby on board badges you see all the time.   People will recognise it, and its legitimacy, as such.    

However, I do imagine the wearer of the badge may need to explain it is for MS/ an invisible disability as there is no nod to this from the face of the badge (whereas baby on board is obvious)

k

I think it is a great idea. Anything g that might help must be trialled I think. I would wear one if I travelled in London, which I do not.

Good idea.  I suppose the risk is that people might be even less willing to oblige a person who had an invisible illness but who did not happen to be wearing a badge!  But there's no use thinking of drawbacks before having tested out the advantages in practice, so I am all in favour of giving this promising idea a good go.  

It seems to me that it would be particularly useful to young people; they are assumed to be in the pink of health by everyone else and will tend to hesitate most when asking strangers - often people older than they are - to give up a seat to help an apparently able-bodied youngster.

Alison

Its well DIRE.  I agree with Geoff a child could design better.  What does it ask. PLEASE OFFER ME A seat. What to sit down or buy.  Its got no authority, why should someone offer them a seat unless they are visibly showing a disability which is clearly not the aim. 

If there was decency in this world there would be no need to display a badge which well says nothing really. ALSO for me this could target the weak and vulnerable, as its like a signpost on their chest, I am in need of help, so weak.  

Wouldnt it be better to show it is about illness?  Maybe some how use the disabled shape incorporate it into the badge?

Sorry you ask for opinions and that is the point of the exercise then i think this is a horrible idea unless its made more clearly why.  

Getting young people to wear it, sorry Alsion my grandson is bullied constantly on the bus for being a bit overweight. There isnt sadly a lot of decency left in this world. 

Crazy Chick wrote:

Getting young people to wear it, sorry Alsion my grandson is bullied constantly on the bus for being a bit overweight. There isnt sadly a lot of decency left in this world. 

Poor chap - I am sorry.  I assume he is a school-boy, CC?  Anyone who has had bad times at school - me included for sure - will wince at the memory of how horrid schoolchildren can be to peers who look and/or act a bit differently, and how very badly that hurts.

Alison  

Yes he is 13 with anxiety issues. One boy accused him of a SEXUAL assualt it was awful. I found out exactly where this was supposed to take place and what time. Luckily he was stood by a lace with CCTV and we had evidence this never took place. What is more disturbing is the lack of support by the school to these things. Bullying is rife at schools. 

Crazy Chick wrote:

Its well DIRE.  I agree with Geoff a child could design better.  What does it ask. PLEASE OFFER ME A seat. What to sit down or buy.

Well bring that to the attention of the National "English Language idiom and usage " Police force then! Last time I travelled on the Tube, all of the signs on the escalators said "Dogs Must be Carried": and do you know what? - not a single member of staff would give me a puppy so I couldn't travel ☺

Ah shame so you never got a puppy. sad

Val

Nothing wrong with it. How often do people with MS complain that our particular disabilities can be invisible and that no-one understands?  If it got me a seat at that 'sit down or fall down' moment, then it's a good thing.  

I rarely travel on LU but when I do it's at times when there are plenty of seats but I would imagine that if there weren't, this might help because there are kind people out there but how are they to know I need help?  When I travelled to work by bus years ago I always gave up my seat for elderly people but a young PwMS is not in that category but may need a seat as much if not more.  If it was in reverse, I'd give up my seat for someone wearing this. It's suitably anonymous about what the problem is as a lot of PwMS don't want to advertise what is wrong so it's better that it is plain and not about illness.

i find a stick is a good enough to prompt people into kindness, but the whole point of this is for those people where the disability doesn't show. 

Well done TfL for trying to help people with disabilities, not just MS.

 

 

A mixed bag of views on this!

I say bring it out to those who are happy/willing to try it. I would, but I dont use public transport and always have a seat with me anyway! It`s my wheelie!

pollx

I showed it to my husband, he said the same as me it should indicate a disability otherwise people will just ignore it.

I have MS

Whatever happened to privacy? 

It implies helplessness and vulnerability.  Not keen on it!

But if,on a particular day, you are feeing that you need help and that you are vulnerable to falls because of your condition you might feel think that it could be a useful thing to utilise? Some people on this thread are reacting as if this is something that Transport for London are making compulsory for everybody with a disability to wear at all times like a Yellow Star in 1930s Germany!

Val

Boblatina wrote:

But if,on a particular day, you are feeing that you need help and that you are vulnerable to falls because of your condition you might feel think that it could be a useful thing to utilise? Some people on this thread are reacting as if this is something that Transport for London are making compulsory for everybody with a disability to wear at all times like a Yellow Star in 1930s Germany!

 

i thought the same thing... it's not compulsory so why get upset about it?  

It has nothing to do with privacy but everything to do with alerting the public if you have a problem standing on a busy transport system.  And if I am in a situation that often happens, that I need to sit down NOW, I expect I would be glad of it because at that moment of being about to fall, or losing balance on a moving train or bus, I am most definitely helpless and vulnerable! 

I have MS

Not compulsory - yet. 

How may people have falls on public transport and put in a personal injury claim?

"Data released by the Department for Transport revealed that in 2013, there were 5,896 buses or coaches involved in reported accidents."

This awareness campaign could be about insurance.

Now we have PIP identifying our levels of disability we could find it illegal to venture out on public transport without being strapped into a wheelchair.

PJ

I have MS

Boblatina, that was my first thought, but dare not write it.

The trouble with these metro elite PR/nudge/identity politics types is they lack self-awareness.

An awareness of how they manufacture a sense of otherness in order to appear morally superior by using forced empathy.  

It's very Victorian.  

Of course the whole NGO charity industry is based upon it.

I expect the MS Society is planning an "I have MS. Help me!" sticker. 

PJ.

I have MS

Presumably the badge is part of a wider campaign to raise awareness and will be backed up at stations with information posters, so really can't see a problem. It is a trial after all and if it proves to help some people, then surely that's a good thing?

https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/please-offer-me-a-seat

https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2016/august/please-offe...

I have MS

Excellent  positive response, Whammel.  lt is obviously in its trial period and will need tweaking - but at least someone is trying to find a way of helping those who need it.    

it may work in the South, but up here in the North we prefer a direct response.  I think people more likely to respond to a direct request rather than an impersonal badge.