Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 14th Sep 16, 11:08 PM
    • 1,208Posts
    • 865Thanks
    ripplyuk
    Reduced fee for membership, but says 'DISABLED' on membership card.
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 16, 11:08 PM
    Reduced fee for membership, but says 'DISABLED' on membership card. 14th Sep 16 at 11:08 PM
    There's a local club near to me that I'd like to join. I've been a member as a guest, but now I need to sign up fully. The membership fees are taken by the head office (somewhere in London), not the local club I'm in. They have a reduced fee for people with disabilities but the membership card is then marked very obviously with 'disabled' across the top.

    I'd have to show this card regularly to other members in the club and I'd prefer not to disclose that I have a disability to them. I don't mind about the head office knowing because I'd never have any contact with them. I just don't want anyone in the club looking at me differently or asking me what's 'wrong' with me. I really want to join as there's so few hobbies I can participate in.

    I could join without taking the reduced fee, but it's very expensive. Is that my only option? Is this a common practice, to mark out members who have a disability? Is it even allowed, or is there anyone I could complain to? The whole thing is putting me off joining at all and it just feels unfair to have to let everyone know when I'd prefer to keep it private.
Page 1
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 15th Sep 16, 10:43 AM
    • 350 Posts
    • 1,109 Thanks
    Bogalot
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 16, 10:43 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 16, 10:43 AM
    Do you want to complain or do you want to join the club? It's unlikely they'll let you do both.

    It is commonplace for those that get a reduced rate to have it noted on membership cards and similar, this might say retired, carer, child or disabled. There's nothing wrong with that, it helps the staff to check that people are not abusing the system.

    Why do you have to show other members your pass? I'm assuming this is a gym, I can't think when I would show other members my pass.
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 15th Sep 16, 11:40 AM
    • 1,208 Posts
    • 865 Thanks
    ripplyuk
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 16, 11:40 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 16, 11:40 AM
    It's not a gym. I'd rather not give the details but it's nothing to do with exercise. It just seems the routine that everyone shows their membership card when they sign in on arrival.

    I can understand labelling the cards might help prevent abuse of the system, but I've already sent evidence to the head office, which they're happy with. Having my card labelled as disabled doesn't provide any more proof. It would just make me feel uncomfortable.

    I'm not going to make a complaint if this is a common practice. I'll wait and try to save up and join at the full cost next year.
    • SailorSam
    • By SailorSam 15th Sep 16, 12:02 PM
    • 21,156 Posts
    • 36,444 Thanks
    SailorSam
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 16, 12:02 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 16, 12:02 PM
    A disability isn't something you should be embarrassed or ashamed of. Look at the paralympics going on in Brazil at the moment. They're proud to represent their Countries and i can't imagine many think less of them.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 15th Sep 16, 12:48 PM
    • 1,208 Posts
    • 865 Thanks
    ripplyuk
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 16, 12:48 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 16, 12:48 PM
    That's so true SailorSam. I know I shouldn't feel ashamed of it. Everyone admires the athletes in the Paralympics. But then they're world class athletes and that's what people focus on.

    I still can't help feeling ashamed because my problems are due to mental health issues, not a physical one. I know everyone in the club is aware that with me, there is something 'wrong' but I'd rather they just thought I was odd, than mentally ill. Anything except that.
    • SailorSam
    • By SailorSam 15th Sep 16, 12:58 PM
    • 21,156 Posts
    • 36,444 Thanks
    SailorSam
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 16, 12:58 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 16, 12:58 PM
    I can understand how you feel Ripply. I have a Merseytravel pass. I have it 'cos of my age but others get them when they're only teenagers and may have some sort of disability that doesn't show. A bit similar to Blue Badge holders. And nobody looks twice at them.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 15th Sep 16, 2:04 PM
    • 15,472 Posts
    • 26,336 Thanks
    Ames
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 16, 2:04 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 16, 2:04 PM
    Can you join and then make a suggestion (rather than complaint) that the cards are redesigned? If the card has to say that you're disabled then it could be more discreet, even by using a number code or something - so a small '1' in a corner is for youth cards, '2' disabled, '3' elderly etc. (Assuming they have different categories of discounts).

    If you don't want people to see it, could you get there ten minutes early so there won't be a queue of people as you sign in?
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.


    Recent reads: Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates. Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy. Justice - What is the Right Thing To Do by Michael Sandel. Is Multiculturalism Bad For Women by Susan Moller Okin.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 15th Sep 16, 2:33 PM
    • 5,948 Posts
    • 14,936 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 16, 2:33 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 16, 2:33 PM
    First of all, that pass is likely only to be seen by staff - not members. If a member does see it & does comment "I didn't realise you were...", the simplest answer is "Thank you, I'm so glad you think so."

    Next step is a little mild misdirection as to just what the matter might be - so the occasional Purposeful expression as you hustle to the loos - let them query "Crohn's?", give them an embarassed grin & duck onwards. (Apologies of course to all Crohn's sufferers for trading on sterotypes.)

    Or you could have a thoughtful look at the Paralympic classifications count various blessings & maybe spot another possible misdirection.

    Or borrow my disability - epilepsy. Officially I'm disabled, in practice I'm stabilised & thus pass for normal on first second & even third glances. Medication controlled, I should be the last person in the building to have a seizure. I work, drive, married-with-kids, but the medical paperwork? Says disabled.

    In a perfect world, we wouldn't need misdirection (or "veiling") as I'm given to calling it. Til that comes, I'll practice a little mild well-intentioned veiling & avoid a lot of unneccessary fuss.

    Get the chit & enjoy the club facilities. Sounds like you're "clubbable" anyway - give it a couple of years, volunteer onto a committee & see if the membership cards aren't due for a redesign?

    All the very best!
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 15th Sep 16, 9:25 PM
    • 5,849 Posts
    • 3,449 Thanks
    teddysmum
    • #9
    • 15th Sep 16, 9:25 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Sep 16, 9:25 PM
    The card may be so marked so that staff know which people may need priority help in case of a medical or evacuation emergency (eg. following outbreak of fire).
    • w06
    • By w06 17th Sep 16, 7:25 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    w06
    It's normal for membership cards and tickets to state on them the type of membership, for lots of reasons. It says on reduced price child and pensioner cards what they are too. Nothing to be ashamed or embarassed about.

    Our local zoo has a slightly odd policy of sending the member's newsletter to 'mr members name and carer' on the envelope and all other documentation, which always rankled a little, but just reflects the way a membership for somebody with a disability is handled (same price as otherwise but somebody else goes in free with you)
    • Tolly_T
    • By Tolly_T 17th Sep 16, 7:43 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    Tolly_T
    I think these sort of things are done by organisations without thinking. If they're not aware that it's an issue for some people it'll just continue. You could let them know how you feel - just a little nudge to make them think and maybe they'll change it in future.

    I have a disabled membership at my local gym. I'm lucky that there isn't anything on the membership card to indicate that it's a disabled membership. I wouldn't want other people to know. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed about it but I don't want anyone who sees me checking in to be aware that I'm on that membership as it could lead to questions that I wouldn't want and make me feel less comfortable attending.
    • mrcol1000
    • By mrcol1000 19th Sep 16, 7:02 PM
    • 3,977 Posts
    • 3,473 Thanks
    mrcol1000
    This really is silly. You are happy to get a reduced price because you are disabled, but are having a tantrum because it says disabled on the card? As others have said, disability is nothing to be ashamed about. Also not all of us have the luxury of being able to hide the fact they are disabled. The fact I am seated all the time with big wheels attached sort of gives it away rather than having a card with disabled on.
    • Tolly_T
    • By Tolly_T 20th Sep 16, 10:44 AM
    • 75 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    Tolly_T
    I don't think having a preference and expressing it is having a tantrum. If you're obviously disabled and someone sees you with a card saying 'Disabled' they're not likely to challenge you to justify your entitlement in the same way as if your disability is hidden. There are some people who feel entitled to ask about your entire medical history if you don't look disabled. I'm not confident and feel uncomfortable when this happens. Other people may not be bothered in the same way but that doesn't mean that it is 'silly' that I am.

    This really isn't about being ashamed about my disability, it's about preferring to keep my personal circumstances private. I was a mature student for a few years but I didn't tell many people. I didn't want questions about how I'd done in my exams and I didn't want to feel any extra pressure as I wasn't sure I'd be able to complete the course. I wouldn't have wanted a card with 'Student' written on it at that time any more than I want a card with 'Disabled' written on it now.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 21st Sep 16, 1:44 AM
    • 36,817 Posts
    • 33,042 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    If directly asking head office if it's really only possible to issue your card with 'disabled' flagged up on it, I'd probably join, and then work from within to get that changed.

    It may genuinely never have occurred to anyone that having the different categories on the membership cards would be an issue.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Cutting Tax; Charities; Small Biz & Charity Organisers; and Silver Savers boards, which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. However, do remember, Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts.

    Any views are mine and are not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com
    Still knitting! Current projects: 2 shawls, 2 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure ...
    • gardenia101
    • By gardenia101 1st Oct 16, 11:59 AM
    • 572 Posts
    • 2,796 Thanks
    gardenia101
    I wouldn't be delighted about having disabled scrawled across my card either - not because I'm ashamed or embarrassed about my disability, but because it takes away my choice to share that personal information with others.

    I'm visually impaired so unless I'm having a bad day & am using my cane, it isn't obvious I have a disability. I'm also young'ish (47, that's still young, right) & I do get challenged sometimes when I use my bus pass or my local cinema card by people wanting to know what is "wrong" with me.

    I try & be polite, but there are times when I don't want to be (when I get grief for sitting in the disabled seats on the train etc. ) & all I want to say is it's nowt to do with them.

    I'd ask about card redesign too - was asked to fill in a consent form last week for an eye procedure at hospital. They didn't have anything in large print & seemed surprised when I mentioned it. So people don't always join those dots even when it's obvious.

    Hope you join & enjoy your time there.
    And I find that looking back at you gives a better view, a better view...
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 1st Oct 16, 4:03 PM
    • 6,711 Posts
    • 1,485 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    I agree that once a member - it doesn't make any difference whether you are disabled or not - so why do they differentiate ?
    • DomRavioli
    • By DomRavioli 12th Oct 16, 10:44 PM
    • 2,863 Posts
    • 4,772 Thanks
    DomRavioli
    I wouldn't be delighted about having disabled scrawled across my card either - not because I'm ashamed or embarrassed about my disability, but because it takes away my choice to share that personal information with others.

    I'm visually impaired so unless I'm having a bad day & am using my cane, it isn't obvious I have a disability. I'm also young'ish (47, that's still young, right) & I do get challenged sometimes when I use my bus pass or my local cinema card by people wanting to know what is "wrong" with me.

    I try & be polite, but there are times when I don't want to be (when I get grief for sitting in the disabled seats on the train etc. ) & all I want to say is it's nowt to do with them.

    I'd ask about card redesign too - was asked to fill in a consent form last week for an eye procedure at hospital. They didn't have anything in large print & seemed surprised when I mentioned it. So people don't always join those dots even when it's obvious.

    Hope you join & enjoy your time there.
    Originally posted by gardenia101
    I'm VI as well (and young at 31!) - acquired at 27. Nice to know I'm not alone.
    Observe, Adapt, Overcome.
    SPC 2015 #497
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,798Posts Today

7,076Users online

Martin's Twitter