Over the past two decades, campaigners and charities across the UK have successfully fought for disabled rights and equality. The perception of disability has changed significantly over the years, though there’s still a way to go to eliminate disability discrimination.
Here, we’ll look at how the perception of disability has changed, the improvements made along the way and what still needs to change.
How has the perception of disability changed?
The perception of disability has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. At one time, the disabled were considered feeble minded and a lesser part of society. Thankfully, after a lot of campaigning by the Disability Rights movement, this perception gradually started to change.
These days, the disabled are viewed a lot more positively and recognition is given to the contributions they make towards society. However, according to research from Scope, some negative perceptions do sadly still exist. Approximately 24% of disabled people have experienced behaviours or attitudes where people expected less from them due to their disability. More disturbingly, 67% of the public revealed they felt uncomfortable talking to a disabled person. So, clearly there is still a way to go to further change the perception of disability.
The improvements which have been made
One thing which has helped to alter the perception of disabilities, is the improvements made within mobility and accessibility. Technology has made it easier for those with disabilities to live and work much more independently.
These days there are a lot of adaptations which can be made to the home and business to provide equal opportunities to those with a disability. In fact, businesses are required by law to ensure they make reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled workers. Companies such as Allied Mobility are also helping the disabled get around more independently.
More still needs to be done to improve equality
Although we have come a long way in terms of how we view and treat the disabled, more still needs to be done to improve equality. Equal pay and opportunities are something campaigners are still working towards. While the gender pay gap has received a lot of attention in recent years, the disability pay gap is yet to be addressed.
Overall, the perception of disability has changed dramatically over the years. While more work does need to be done, it is important to recognise just how far we’ve come over the past few decades.