Are you registered ‘disabled’? Well, you can’t be, there is no such register!

In 1944 a law was passed whereby local councils had to register disabled people (it was optional for the disabled people) and issue them with a green card. All employers who employed more than 20 (or 25?) people were supposed to employ at least 5% (?) registered disabled people. There was no specification about giving them decent jobs or jobs commensurate with their level of education.

The law was just ignored. It was on the statute books for about 50 years. In all that time there were only 11 prosecutions, two of which failed. (The exact number of prosecutions is different in different reference books, but was very small.)

In the 1990s the Disability Discrimination Act was brought in and the 1944 Registration of Disabled Persons Act was repealed. For all its faults, the DDA, which required employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’, was a vast improvement on the 1944 law which was ignored.

For some reason, the concept of ‘registered disabled’ is firmly lodged in the public’s mind and a lot of people believe it still exists. Many local councils keep lists, or ‘registers’ of disabled people for planning purposes and may send them information or newsletters. These ‘registers’ do not have the force of the 1944 Act.

Completely separate from the 1944 type registration of disabled people, councils have an obligation to ‘register’ blind people.

Even if you are in receipt of DLA (Disability Living Allowance), you are not automatically part of some register.

You can, therefore, be ‘registered blind’ but not ‘registered disabled’.


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