Independent. Confident. Connected. report

Achieving equality for disabled people

Our new report, Independent. Confident. Connected., brings together findings from 3 pieces of research with disabled people from across the country. We wanted to find out about disabled people’s daily lives, what brings them happiness and what their frustrations are, and get views on what disabled people want to get out of life.

We’ve identified 5 important 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.


Although the public believe attitudes to disability are improving, 1 in 3 disabled people say there is still a lot of disability prejudice.

Our recommendation

We think 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% 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 1 million more disabled people into work by 2027. The most powerful thing the government could do to realise this goal would be to remove the barriers to disabled people accessing specialist employment support, by removing sanctions and making it voluntary.

Care, support and social connections

When asked what things help them live independently, disabled people told us that strong family connections and friend networks were among the most important factors.

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
  • socialise.

Digital technology

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

Our recommendation

We need action on 2 fronts:

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

Inclusive public transport

1 in 4 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.

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