Independent, confident, connected

Achieving equality for disabled people

Our new report, Independent. Confident. Connected., brings together findings from three pieces of research with disabled people from across the country. We wanted to find out about disabled people’s day-to-day lives – what brings happiness, frustrations, and views on what disabled people want to get out of life.

We’ve identified five key aspects of life which can be enablers or barriers to disabled people being able to live the life they choose: Attitudes, work, care and support, public transport and digital technology.

Attitudes of others 

Although the public believe attitudes to disability are improving, one in three disabled people say there is still a lot of disability prejudice. 

Our recommendation 

We feel Government action is needed to change attitudes towards disability. The inter-ministerial disability strategy group should have a clearly defined objective to improve attitudes towards disabled people.


63 percent of respondents to our polling said that paid employment is, or would be, helpful or very helpful in supporting independence.

Our recommendation

The Government has committed to supporting one million more disabled people in to work by 2027. The most powerful thing the government could do to realise this goal, would be remove the barriers to disabled people accessing specialist employment support, removing sanctions and making it voluntary.

Care, support and social connections 

When asked what things help to live independently. We found that strong family connections and strong friend networks were among the most important factors for disabled people.

Our recommendation 

The Government needs to stabilise the existing system of support and reform social care to meet the needs and aspirations of disabled people. This will mean that care and support can better enable disabled people to:

  • have a family life 
  • work
  • engage with communities and
  • socialise.

Digital Technology

78 percent of disabled people say that having access to digital technologies is helpful.

Our recommendation 

Action is needed on two fronts:

  • Close the digital divide that exists today. 
  • Ensuring the next wave of digital innovation includes disabled people as a core consumer.   

Inclusive public transport 

One in four disabled people say that they have been prevented from using public transport by other people’s attitudes in the last year.

Our recommendation

Public transport systems need to be reformed to ensure that disabled passengers are:

  • Able to access public transport through improved accessibility. 
  • Able to travel without fear of negative attitudes by staff and other passengers. 
  • Have straightforward access to a remedy when things go wrong. 

Independent, confident and connected

Read the full version of Independent, confident and connected.