Equipment & Adaptations:Frequently Asked Questions
Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:
How can I get an adaptation made to my house?
Housing adaptations can increase your independence and reduce the risk of an accident at home
If you or someone in your home are disabled you may qualify for help with adaptations such as:
- replacing a bath with a level access shower.
- making it easier to get into and out of the house by widening doors or making a ramp.
- fitting lower worktops in a kitchen.
Smaller adaptions can also be made, such as:
- fitting a grab rail
- provision of a shower chair
In most cases, as a starting point you should contact your local Social Work Department (or NHS Highland in Highland) and ask for an Assessment of Needs, which is usually done by an Occupational Therapist (O.T.).
For further information see our Disabled Home Adaptations Information Guide.
Can I get a reduction of Vehicle Excise Duty?
If you are disabled you may be entitled to a reduction or exemption on vehicle tax if you meet the government criteria. The vehicle must be registered in your name or a named driver’s name and must only be used for your personal needs.
You can apply for exemption if you get the:
- higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- enhanced rate mobility component of Adult Disability Payment – mygov.scot
- War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the Personal Independence Payment standard rate mobility component or Adult Disability Payment standard rate mobility component Adult Disability Payment – mygov.scot
How can I search for accessible places to visit in Scotland?
Whether you are planning a meal out, a weekend trip or day out to one of Scotland’s parks, there are websites and ‘apps’ that you can use in your search for an accessible venue or activity.
Euan’s Guide is a disabled access review website and app that aims to ‘remove the fear of the unknown’ and inspire people to try new places.
OpenBritain is your website that provides information on accessible tourism in the UK and includes day trips and tourist attractions.
Disabled Go provide access information on venues across the UK and Ireland.
For more information on accessible places to visit in Scotland search our Scottish Disability Directory and select the ‘Holidays/Respite’ category.
How do I get a bus pass entitlement card?
Many people in Scotland are entitled to free bus travel, including some disabled people, younger people and people aged 60 or over. Other concessions can apply to trains and ferries.
You can find out how to apply for your card locally here How to apply for or renew your National Entitlement Card | Transport Scotland
You will need to complete an application form and have
- a recent photograph
- proof of age or disability
- proof of your current address
For further information contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
How can I get a RADAR key?
The National Key Scheme (NKS), often referred to as RADAR keys, offer disabled people independent access to locked public accessible toilets around the country. You can buy from Disability Rights UK either over the phone or through their website.
You can also purchase RADAR keys through some chemists and online.
Call the Disability Information Scotland helpline on: 0300 323 9961
How can I get a disabled parking space outside my house?
If you need a disabled parking space outside your house, contact your council. They will assess your circumstances and may charge for this.
To qualify, you must
- have a current blue badge
- either be the driver of the vehicle or be assisted by a carer who is the driver if they live where the space is needed
- keep the vehicle at the address you give on the application form
- normally have difficulty getting a perking space on the public road.
A disabled parking space can be used by anyone with a blue badge, not just the person who applied for it.
For further information or help searching for your local council’s contact number then please contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
For more information on getting a blue badge, check out our Blue Badges Information Guide.
Am I eligible for VAT relief on disability equipment?
In general, disabled people do not have to pay VAT on goods and services that are designed or adapted solely for use by disabled people. These goods and services are often called zero-rated or eligible for VAT relief.
Most suppliers will know if their product has been specifically designed to help disabled people. They will offer their products free of VAT as you buy them.
You’ll need to confirm in writing that you meet the conditions for zero rating. Your supplier may give you a form for this.
Most suppliers will use the Notice 701/7 VAT relief for disabled people form.
For further information see our VAT Exemption for Disabled Goods Information Guide or call our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
How to I get a Blue Badge for parking?
The quickest way to apply for a blue badge is on-line here Apply for a blue badge online
If you do not have access to the internet some local authorities can support you to apply on a paper application form.
I am going on holiday, how do I hire a mobility scooter or wheelchair?
Shopmobility have members throughout the UK who rent out wheelchairs and scooters to help people access shopping centres and leisure activities. You can find a list of their members here Find a ShopMobility Centre | ShopMobility UK
In Wales, Northern Ireland and England you may be able to rent a wheelchair from the Red Cross Rent or hire a wheelchair | British Red Cross
The website Mobility Equipment Hire Direct connects you to commercial suppliers in the UK and across the world.
Helpline: 0300 323 9961
For further information on hiring equipment away from home check out our Accessible Holidays Information Guide
I’m struggling getting in and out of my bath, is there any support that I can get?
People often call us because they are struggling with getting in and out of the bath. The first step would be to contact your local social work department (or NHS Highland in Highland) to arrange a care needs assessment. You might qualify for an adaptation such as a walk in shower in your bathroom. For more information see our Assessment of Needs Information Guide.
Equipment & Adaptations:Search for Local Organisations
Our quick search tool can connect you to over 3000 service providers, suppliers and organisations supporting people across Scotland. To find support near you, simply enter your search term and select your local authority.