Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 31 January, 2007

Written Answers. - Services for People with Disabilities.

Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Transport the position regarding disabled persons parking discs for parents who have children with mild autism if they qualify for same; if not, if they can be put on the list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2430/07]

  Mr. Cullen: The Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations, 1997 empower local authorities, the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disabled Drivers Association, to grant a disabled person’s parking permit to a person who is suffering from a disability that is of a nature that prevents him or her from walking or causes undue hardship to the person in walking. The focus of the qualifying criterion is therefore on the issue of a person being a wheelchair user or having significant mobility impairment. Eligibility has to be determined on a case-by-case basis having regard to the nature of the mobility impairment of the person. The position is therefore that children with autism are ineligible to be issued with a disabled persons parking permit unless the child also has a mobility disability and is unable to walk. There are no proposals to extend the application of the disabled persons parking permit scheme to include persons who are not mobility impaired.