Monday 30 April 2012

Disabled-Friendly Official Forms

Something is praying on my mind. It's that once a decade task again: renewing one's passport.

When last I did so, I could still scribe by hand. Now I generally type as I cannot grip a pen for any useful length of time. I have only recently been able to write my signature - almost as it used to look - since obtaining a ridiculously over-sized novelty pen which enables me to grip the instrument with my whole hand. The disadvantage is that my signature is HUGE.

I certainly cannot write small enough to fit in the tiny squares on the official UK Home Office: Identity & Passport Service form. And that is if I could see where the squares are. The form is printed in a pale orange which seems to fade to insignificance in daylight. With my poor eyesight and inability to focus, I cannot even make a stab at getting the correct box each time. My signature certainly will not fit in the tiny space allotted.  Let's face it: my signature when I was able-bodied would not have remained confined by the parameters of the box! Neither can I read the notes as the text in the accompanying booklet is - you have guessed it - too small. To make matters worse, the relevant website is even worse: IPS: Passports (q.v.).

One would have thought in this day and age the boxes would have been made large enough for someone to write in. If I were blind, there is the option of a Braille form; but no option of one in large print. It is as if Government departments and agencies have never heard of disability legislation. The original Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was enacted in 1995. Surely, they have had plenty of time to sort out their policies and take action. It is the twenty-first century, surely one should be able to expect better?

In the circumstances, I have had to wait for someone to come round who has had the time and patience to complete the form on my behalf. Thanks go to my friend.

1 comment:

  1. Assuming the Passport Agency has the same requirements as DVLA Colin, if you've already got a digital passport - which you must have - then your original signature will already have been captured so they won't be bothered about your latest version unless it differs wildly from the original.

    I'd have thought your bigger problem would be renewing your photo?