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Research Reveals Disabled People are On the Edge of British Society and isolated


There are eleven million disabled people in Great Britain, but new research commissioned by disabled charity Scope has found that they are increasingly isolated from society, with stark statistics about disabled people's level of involvement in society. Scope are concerned that upcoming Government spending cuts will effect disabled people the worst and serve to further exclude them from everyday society.



The statistics about disabled people's interaction with others is stark - the average Briton who isn't disabled and doesn't have a disabled relative only has a 60% chance of knowing anyone who is disabled. 90% said they had never had a guest with disabilities inside their home for a social event, and under a quarter had worked with a disabled colleague. The results seem to show that disabled people are separated from the rest of society, and that they rarely come into the contact of new people.



Far from cutting back on support for the disabled, the British Government should be improving access and freedoms for disabled people. Big cut-backs are expected in all sections of the public sector, and as benefits and facilities grants are reduced or axed, we could see the most disadvantaged in our society suffering as a result of our own financial misfortune.



There are some questions that are raised as a result of the survey, as disabilities can be hidden, and unless someone has a cane, hearing aids, a wheelchair or another visible disability aid, then how can someone be expected to know they were disabled at all? 91% of those interviewed said they believed that disabled people should have access to the same rights and opportunities as everybody else in society, and this is probably representative of a general welcoming attitude extended towards disabled people in Britain.



Richard Hawkes, the Chief Executive of the Scope charity, is warning that disabled people could be pushed closer to the edge of society by planned spending cuts, and recommends that the Government carry out an assessment before making the cuts, especially reductions in Living Allowance and Incapacity Benefit, because they are an important element of support for the disabled.



Without fully understanding the potential impact of the cuts, Hawkes fears that the Government could cause distress and financial hardship to the disabled, and could actually inadvertently create a greater dependency on the state. Disabled people often rely on public support to help them live a full and active life, and the prospect of these provisions being reduced is causing worry among disabled rights groups.



Adam Cairn writes on a number of subjects including disabilities and stairlifts.

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