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Nearly half of disabled people feel excluded from society

4:50 am, 23rd August 2018

In spite of legislation to improve the rights of disabled people, SCOPE says much more needs to be done and is calling on businesses, the government and individuals to become what they’re calling “disability gamechangers”.

Max Stainton, who was born with cerebral palsy, is supporting the campaign.

He told us: “The point is we’re the same as you guys we just need some help.”

SCOPE has published a report based on the polling of 2,000 working-age disabled adults which reveals how undervalued and disconnected from society many disabled people feel.

It shows that 49% feel excluded from society.

Two in five (41%) don’t feel valued.

Less than half – 42% – think the UK is a good place for disabled people.

Mr Stainton trekked to Everest base camp on horseback.

He said: “The fact I felt like I had to do such an extreme slightly mental challenge just to prove myself to everyone around me tells you so much about societal perceptions of disability and the need to destroy those perceptions and challenge them and make them go away.

“I trekked to Everest to break this stereotypes and say to people ‘I can do what my dreams are’.”

Mr Stainton says there are lots of ways society can exclude people, such as transport and having dinner out.

“The tube network here in London. I might have to go a different way to my friends.

“Just getting into a restaurant that has stairs – what do I do then? So many little things can be changed easily. It’s about raising awareness.

“I feel embarrassed because I don’t want to inconvenience friends or colleagues but I want to participate in what they’re doing.”

He says it is a shame disabled people are excluded from society because they have “so much to offer”.

James Taylor, head of campaigns at SCOPE, said: “We believe life in 2018 is just too tough if you’re disabled and we believe that needs to change.

“Today we’re calling on everyone whether you’re an individual, an employer, a business, a government department, or an organisation to step up and demonstrate what you’re doing for disabled people to make a difference for disability equality and really tackle some of these issues.

“Despite the fact we’ve had equality legislation for 20 years, and the equality act for the last eight years, I think what’s clear is just how much is left to do and how equality legislation is one thing but changing minds is quite another – from tackling poor attitudes in the work place to increasing funding for social care so people can get out of the house.”