Scope report highlights negative public attitudes towards disabled people

Tue,22 May 2018
News Equality & Rights

The disability perception gap, a new Scope report, examines everyday public prejudice and attitudes to disabled people.

View report

The disability perception gap

The report finds that, in recent years, negative attitudes to disabled people have become rarer but that they are still far too common in our society.

Nearly half the British public think there is half the number of disabled people in society that there actually is.

One in eight respondents said they tend to think of disabled people as the same as everyone else hardly ever or never.

Three quarters think of disabled people as needing to be cared for some or most of the time.

Disabled people say:

“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” – Shani, entrepreneur, Walsall

“[I’ve had] people getting off the bus because they didn't want to share one with 'a cripple'” – Anon, from a Scope-led survey

“People used to see me as ‘one of them’ but now, because I’m disabled, they see me differently.” – Hannah, 27

The report recommends that the Government should:

  • launch a new cross-departmental disability strategy, focused on improving attitudes and reducing prejudice towards disabled people.
  • be ruthless and relentless in their action to increase the number of disabled people in employment, including meeting the aim of getting a million more disabled people into work.
  • identify and ring-fence funding, within existing government or Lottery-funded schemes, to improve diversity within the creative industries, with a focus on on-screen representation.

It also recommends all broadcasters should establish specific schemes aimed at locating and supporting disabled talent throughout the television and radio industries.