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The Disability Survey Research Report and my experience by Kay Foulkes

We recently saw the publication of the UK Governments Disability Unit’s ‘Disability Survey Research Report’ . As a disabled person this was hard reading 26 years after the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 was given royal assent, when for the first time Disabled people had specific protections from ill treatment. The responses to the survey paint a picture of the United Kingdom, which is not particularly positive.

The UK is perceived by respondents as somewhere that ‘unhelpful’ public perceptions of disabled people persist, with half of the respondents reporting they have been insulted or harassed in public places. Accessibility remains a major concern with many reporting their homes do not meet their needs, a quarter struggle accessing public buildings, and one third struggle with accessibility in public places.

In relation to the two major drivers of social mobility, education and employment, the situation is no better. Only one in ten respondents believe that disabled people are given the educational opportunities they need to thrive, and those who are unemployed feel there is not sufficient support to find and keep a job. Of those in employment only half in employment felt their employers were flexible and made sufficient reasonable adjustments, and only a quarter felt they had the same advancement opportunities as their colleagues.