The Disability Perception Gap

There's too much misunderstanding of and prejudice against disabled people in society. An occasional moment of rudeness might be mildly annoying. But the drip, drip of incidents can have a devastating effect.

Negative attitudes are a major barrier for many disabled people to be connected with others, confident, and independent. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Scope's Disability Perception Gap report and campaign can change attitudes and lives.

Share your experience of attitudes to disability

Disability Perception Gap report

Our Disability Perception Gap report shines a light on the British public’s attitudes to disabled people. The findings are based on research by the National Centre for Social Research as part of the annual British Social Attitudes Survey.

The research shows that the public is still stereotyping disabled people in all aspects of their daily lives, including how much care disabled people need and how productive they are.

The gap between disabled people and non-disabled people’s impression of negative attitudes has trebled over the last 20 years. 1 in 3 disabled people feel there is still a lot of disability prejudice in Britain today, but only 1 in 5 non-disabled people agree. That's a big difference between the public’s perceptions of disability and disabled people’s experiences.

The Disability Perception Gap report [PDF, 1.4MB]

Campaigning to close the perception gap

Research shows that knowing a disabled person makes a huge difference to non-disabled people’s attitudes.

Scope is campaigning to get more disabled people into the workplace, in public life, and on TV to help change attitudes.

Government taking the lead in tackling negative attitudes

We want to see the Government launch a new cross-departmental disability strategy, focussed on improving attitudes and reducing prejudice towards disabled people.

More disabled people in work

Government and businesses must take vigorous and relentless action to increase the number of disabled people in employment, with a target of getting a million more disabled people into work.

More disabled people in the media and creative industries

We want the Government to ring fence money in existing Government or Lottery funded schemes to improve diversity in the creative industries, especially to get more disabled people on our screens.

We want broadcasters to set up specific schemes to find and support disabled talent throughout the television and radio industries.

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