Let's change attitudes and raise living standards

In 2014, if you're disabled life's often tougher than it needs to be.

Living standards

are not just about the amount of money in your pocket.

Read our report
Woman smiling, holding a dvd
Read our report

Attitudes have improved over the past 20 years

Back then we changed our name from the Spastics Society to Scope, as part of our commitment to helping change attitudes around disability. But there is still much more to do.

Too often people still feel awkward about disability

Awkwardness, misunderstanding and a lack of confidence lead to people avoiding conversations, or worse still overlooking disabled people as potential friends, employees, colleagues, neighbours or partners.

This makes daily life tougher than it needs to be

From employers to politicians to people at the local school, shop or pub - attitudes have an impact on how people act and whether you can be part of society.

The recent recession has had an impact on many people's living standards. But for many disabled people, the struggle to make ends meet has always been a fact of life.  Attitudes and misunderstandings around disability have undermined disabled people's opportunities and threatened their living standards for too long.

We have to make sure disabled people are at the heart of the recovery

The economic recovery is an opportunity to raise living standards in Britain. Employers, public services, government, all of us need to think differently. It's a chance to make society work better for disabled people.  

We need to fix the problems of financial penalties, employment opportunities and support to live independently. And underlying all of this we need to shift the attitudes that create many problems.

Sue says:

Woman sitting in her kitchen

“There’s a big wide world out there and I want to be able to see it.  But I haven’t got a social life, I can’t afford it.  Apart from my carer I see nobody else on a daily basis. I haven’t been able to get out to see my grandchildren - it’s been weeks. Those kids are the best thing in my life but I can’t afford to go and see them.

I’m living on a tight budget and by the time I’ve paid all my bills I’ve got £50 a week to live on. I can’t afford to put my heating on. I don’t use my oven any more. I’m scared to run up any bills. By 7pm, I’m huddled up in bed with my dog.

This isn’t me feeling sorry for myself, it’s just the truth.  I feel like they don’t care about me because I’m in a wheelchair. We’ve taken a step back to 20 years ago.”

Sue, London

Video describing Comedian Francesca Martinez talks about comedy and attitudes to disability
Read the transcript

Francesca Martinez

“I think disability’s normal, it’s always existed. It’s not abnormal because it’s part of life. Of course it brings struggles, but many of those struggles come from society not knowing how to handle difference or how to support it.”