New rules require people to wear a face-covering or mask in most public indoor settings. But, if you have a medical condition or disability that makes it impossible for you to wear one, you can self-certify as being exempt from wearing one and avoid being fined.
Leicestershire based entrepreneur, Duncan Edwards, who has family members with disabilities, became aware, early in the pandemic, of the need for a device to provide others around them with immediate and simple-to-understand information regarding mask exemption.
“I noticed people were printing their own cards to use on the bus. The quality was not good and the cards did not last long. Some people were also getting hostility towards them for not wearing a mask. I, therefore, decided to produce a long-lasting, mask exemption card, made from recycled materials and attached to a lanyard or badge clip. It is a durable, portable pass that you can wear around your neck, or pinned to your coat while travelling or in shops, and is instantly visible.”
Having partnered with online lifestyle magazine Disability Horizons to launch a shop selling stylish and practical disability living aids at the end of 2019, they collaborated to create a new product.
The bright red lanyard has ‘MASK EXEMPT’ written in white capital letters so it is easy to see. The credit card-sized ID badge further explains your mask exemption as being due to a ‘disability/health condition’. Both can be shown and read at a safe distance.
“We sold 100 the first day we advertised them, which doubled to 200 the next day. Sales have continued to soar with many disabled people fearful of what the new rules meant for them if they couldn’t wear a mask, now over 40,000 have been sold. We’re now also selling them in bulk to businesses, organisations, workplaces, schools, colleges, and many more outlets.”
Other products are now available on the Disability Horizons Shop and include, ‘Crystal Gaze’ lightweight face shield (a possible alternative if someone can’t wear a face mask), ‘Keep 2M Social Distance’ cards, and yellow and red ‘Keep 2M Distance’ sashes to help remind people to keep their distance if the wearer is at high risk if they catch Covid-19.
Duncan Edwards is Managing Director of Trabasack, a company founded with his wife Clare as a social enterprise to create, manufacture and share new British innovations that help disabled people and promote social inclusion. Trabasack has won and been nominated for many awards and its products used by thousands of people worldwide.
Disability Horizons is an online community magazine founded in 2011 by two disabled men – blogger and influencer Martyn Sibley and businessman Srin Madipalli. The magazine’s aim is to enable disabled people live the life they choose by offering advice, creating a community and changing perceptions around disability. Everyone on the team is either disabled themselves, has a long-term health condition or a close family member with a disability.
The shop collaboration came out of a need for a curated range of disability products from trusted suppliers. Over the years both companies had seen how great products and services can make a real difference to disabled people’s lives. But they need to be the right products – innovative, stylish and truly valuable.
To order any of the products please visit https://shop.disabilityhorizons.com/