Disabled people invisible in Britain today
1 September 2010
- Nearly 40% of people (who are not disabled and do not have a disabled family member) don’t know any disabled people.
- 90% of Britons have never had a disabled person in their house for a social occasion
- 91% of people believe that disabled people should have the same opportunities as everyone else
Startling new evidence revealed today shows that disabled people are largely hidden in day-to-day life despite the public believing that they should be given a level-playing field of opportunity.
In a poll commissioned by disability charity Scope from ComRes, 91% of people stated that they believed disabled people should have the same opportunities as everyone else.
Worryingly, nearly 40% of people who are not disabled and do not have a disabled family member don’t know any disabled people. 90% of Britons have never had a disabled person to their house for a social occasion and only a fifth (21%) have ever had the chance to work with a disabled colleague.
The results demonstrate that disabled people are already relatively invisible in daily life. Concern is growing that the forthcoming Government spending cuts, which are likely to hit disabled people among the hardest*, may end up pushing them into further social exclusion and even cut them out of society altogether.
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of Scope, said:
“This is shocking evidence that shows that disabled people are still relatively invisible in day-to-day life. We are deeply concerned that the Government’s spending cuts will end up pushing disabled people even closer to the fringes of society.
“The Government needs to carry out a full impact assessment before making any cuts to ensure they understand the full consequences of reductions in critical support such as Disability Living Allowance and Incapacity Benefit. These form a vital lifeline for many disabled people and their families.
“Without fully understanding the nature of disabled people’s lives, or the impact these changes will have, the Government may find itself causing extreme distress and financial hardship to disabled people which could end up creating greater dependency on the state and an even greater demand on the public purse.”
For further information or interviews, please contact Scope press office on 020 7619 7200 or email email@example.com
Notes to the Editor:
- Leading disability charity Scope believes disabled people should have the same opportunities as everyone else. We run services and campaigns with disabled people to make this happen. As a charity with expertise in complex support needs and cerebral palsy, we never set limits on potential.
- ComRes interviewed 2,030 GB adults online between 20 and 22 August 2010. Data was weighted to be representative demographically of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
- * The report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies ‘The distributional effect of tax and benefit reforms to be introduced between June 2010 and April 2014: a revised assessment' (Browne and Levell, 25/08/10) highlights that 20% of current recipients of DLA will lose their entitlement as part of the systems reform.