UK 'more positive about disability' following Paralympics

 
Graphic illustrating how attitudes to disabilities have changed since the paralympics, according to a BBC-ComRes poll

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Three-quarters of Britons feel more positive about the role of people with disabilities in the UK following the Paralympics, a BBC survey three months on from the Games suggests.

Some 79% of 2,400 non-disabled people questioned by ComRes for the BBC also said they thought wider perceptions of disability had improved.

But the figure fell to 65% among the 600 people with disabilities surveyed.

A leading charity has welcomed the news but says there is "some way to go".

Start Quote

We clearly still have some way to go, but we shouldn't write off the Paralympics effect”

End Quote Richard Hawkes Disability charity, Scope

ComRes polled more than 3,013 UK adults over three weekends in late November and December, including 600 people with a "long-standing mental or physical disability or condition".

According to the research, 75% said they felt more positive about the role of people with disabilities.

Among women, 78% said they felt more positive now compared to 72% of men.

In a poll for the Charities Aid Foundation in September 2012 - during the Paralympics - ComRes found 76% of all respondents felt the games had made them feel more positive about the role of people with disabilities in the UK.

'Build momentum'

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters (76%) of all respondents - including those with a disability - say they think people's attitudes towards those with disabilities have improved since the games, while just 1% believe perceptions have worsened and 17% feel there has been no change.

However, the research suggests a divergence of views between those with a disability and those without one.

Respondents who have a longstanding mental or physical disability or condition are less likely than those who have not to say people's perceptions have improved - 65% compared to 79% of those without a disability.

Those with a disability are also "more likely to say they think there has been no change in perceptions, or to say they think people's perceptions continue to be negative," the survey reports.

Great Britain"s Helen Scott and Aileen McGlynn Paralympics GB took a record haul of 120 medals during the London 2012 Paralympics

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, told the BBC: "It's a tough time to be disabled. It's a battle to get the right support. You're more likely to be out of work. It can be a struggle to get out and about in the community.

"Attitudes underpin everything. Access, for instance, is as much about thinking differently as it is spending money."

Mr Hawkes added: "We clearly still have some way to go, but we shouldn't write off the Paralympics effect.

"We need to build on the momentum. It's about visibility and greater discussion. Let's ask what else we can do to increase disabled people's visibility in the media, in politics, in the arts and above all in everyday life?"

 

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  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 165.

    @161. socomstu

    How bigoted?

    Firstly DLA is provided not to cover the costs of not working it is to offset the additional costs in everyday living incurred by those of us (unlike you) who have disabilities.

    Also, everyone I know with a disability that isn't working, would love to work, invariably it is the prejudices of society that prevent them gaining meaningful employment, not their desire!

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 164.

    I don't think the people who took part in the Paralympics should be viewed as representative of the disabled in general. It gives a very misleading message that people with chronic, enduring and often deeply disabling conditions are only a stones throw from active semi-equal partisanship in society. When they can't compete I ask what then of joe publics perceptions?

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 163.

    132.Kerry
    48 Minutes ago

    "What is it about the subject of Disabilities that brings out the closet Trotskyites?"

    You know, I never thought I would long for the time when people who bandied the word "Trotskyites" about as an insult, actually understood what it meant.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 162.

    "U15439644
    those that cheer our medal winning paralympians will be the same people who agree that disabled unborn should be aborted."

    The converse also appears to be true: those that insist children should be born with known disabilities are the same as those who think society should bear no responsibility or cost for sustaining and supporting them throughout their lives.

  • rate this
    -14

    Comment number 161.

    We have to take into account that a lot of the peps getting disable benefits can work but don't want to.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 160.

    147. Dave
    Hopefully certain idiots will now respect disabled parking bays and not park in them if they dont have a blue badge

    The trouble is there's too many people using the blue badge who clearly shouldn't. Families of disabled people all too often see the badge as a free parking ticket that allows them to park anywhere.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 159.

    149. SeeDubya

    I don't believe the Govt. is suggesting "...that disabled people who are not olympic athletes are scroungers..." they are as I see it tightening up on who is allowed what and why. As a Registered Blind 42 yr old male in full time employment the only benefit change I am in for is the loss of Child Benefit.

    Everyone has a choice, I choose to overcome the obstacles placed in my way

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 158.

    Paralymipians have proven that disabled people are able to do some wonderful things with some conditions id prevusly thought impossiable. So can we now have fair numbers of disabled parking in comparison with parent and child?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 157.

    @ 77. Hugh Oxford - bang on that Hugh - those that cheer our medal winning paralympians will be the same people who agree that disabled unborn should be aborted.

  • Comment number 156.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 155.

    I don't know who this survey actually asked, but it doesn't seem representative of the 'real' experience for disabled people now.. Disability hate crime - UP by 25%! Ongoing attacks from the DWP and Atos, forcing sick people into poverty or suicide. Biased and unfair media, portraying the sick and disabled as scroungers..That is the reality of being disabled or sick in the UK today!

  • Comment number 154.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 153.

    I have noticed the total opposite effect since the Olympics. People are saying "If those people at London 2012 can perform these amazing athletic feats why cant you get a job?" "Why are you scrounging benefits and living off tax payers?" I reply that "Not all able bodied people can emulate Usain Bolt or Jess Ennis."

    Sadly whilst we are seen as workshy scroungers perceptions will never change.

  • Comment number 152.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 151.

    With most of the ratings comments on here getting suggests this whole story is incorrect or maybe that disable people don't want a positive press.

    @"132. Kerry" if they're all so able they shouldn't need benefits. Our money is always on topic!

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 150.

    My attitude towards the broad spectrum of disabilities people live with hasnt changed due to the Olympics....it was always positive!

    I dont think disabled people want or need anyones patronising approval. I think what they need is the knowledge that they are safe, protected and cared for in a world that can seem harsh, lonely and frightening for everyone at times. It's our social obligation.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 149.

    I think it is perfectly valid to talk about disability benefits at a time when the government is inferring that disabled people who are not olympic athletes are scroungers. It is blatant hypocrisy to be cutting their benefits at the same time as closing Remploy factories.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 148.

    I'm delighted that there are more positive attitudes towards the disabled from everyone apart from the Tories.

    Hopefully, Osborne and Cameron's insistence that disabled people are nothing more than scroungers leeching the benefits system dry (and the introduction of the inhuman and degrading ATOS system) will trigger a huge backlash against these out-of-touch rich white boys in good health.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 147.

    Hopefully certain idiots will now respect disabled parking bays and not park in them if they dont have a blue badge

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 146.

    It's a shame then that they are branded as scroungers by the government and the print media.
    One only has to look at IDS' cruel policies and ATOS designed to result in the deaths of as many disabled people as possible just to curb the benefits bill.
    The only way to save this country is to tax the rich for their fair share not reward them for finding loopholes by giving them a tax cut!

 

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