Labour Research July 2018

Equality news

Outdated attitudes on disability still prevalent

The gap between the reality of disabled people’s lives and what the British public think they are like has been exposed in a report by disability charity Scope.

In 2000, over a third (37%) of disabled people and non-disabled people (34%) felt there was a lot of disability prejudice. 

However, by 2017, while a third (32%) of disabled people still felt there is prejudice against disabled people, only just over a fifth (22%) of the public continued to share this view.

The disability perception gap was carried out as part of the annual British Social Attitudes Survey.

The findings show that outdated and paternalist attitudes towards disabled people are stubbornly prevalent in society. 

One in eight respondents said they hardly ever or never think of disabled people as the same as everyone else, and nearly eight in 10 think of disabled people as needing to be cared for some or most of the time.

Scope says that familiarity is the key to breaking down barriers and increasing understanding. 

Over a third of people with a disabled friend feel there is a lot of prejudice, against less than a fifth of those who don’t have a close disabled friend.

Scope chief executive Mark Atkinson called on the government to tackle discrimination, saying that a million disabled people who are able to work and want to are shut out of the jobs market.