One in three disabled people feel Britain has prejudice problem towards them

Almost a third of disabled people in Britain said they feel there is prejudice towards them, a study has found.

Around 32% of disabled people feel there is a lot of disability prejudice, compared to 22% of the general public, according to the survey.

The report also showed:

  • 41% of people think there is half the number of disabled people in society than there actually is.
  • 13% said they hardly ever or never think of disabled people as the same as everyone else.
  • 75% think of disabled people as needing to be cared for some or most of the time.

The research was carried out for the charity Scope by the National Centre for Social Research as part of the annual British Social Attitudes Survey.

Scope chief executive Mark Atkinson called on the Government to launch a cross-Whitehall strategy to tackle discrimination and negative attitudes towards disabilities.

He said: “We rapidly need to increase understanding of disabled people’s lives and step up efforts to combat negative attitudes.

“Unless we recognise negative attitudes exist we can’t challenge or improve them.

“Negative attitudes and misperceptions can hold disabled people back in all areas of life, from work and to shopping on the high street.

“We need to ensure there is better visibility and representation of disabled people in everyday life.”

He said there are around one million disabled people who are able to work but have been “shut out of the jobs market”.

“From the workplace, to schools, to public services and our transport networks, government can lead the way in creating a society where disabled people are equally valued and never feel like second class citizens,” he added.

One respondent, named only as Hannah, 27, said: “People used to see me as ‘one of them’ but now, because I’m disabled, they see me differently.”

Another, Shani, an entrepreneur from Walsall, said: “I’ve experienced loneliness as an adult, being excluded from social situations or activities due to my condition or people making assumptions about what I am able to do, or not.”

The 2017 British Social Attitudes survey consisted of 3,988 interviews with a representative, random sample of adults in Britain between July and October 2017.

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