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More Than Half Of Disabled Londoners Experience Hostility, Finds Survey

June 12, 2011

More than half of disabled Londoners have experienced hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger because of their disability, a survey suggests.

The figures come from a ComRes poll of 2,050 disabled people across the UK.

Disability charity Scope, which commissioned the survey, warned a disability benefit crackdown was increasing prejudice.

The Department for Work and Pensions insisted those unable to work would get support.

Half of London respondents to the poll said they experienced discrimination on a daily or weekly basis.

It also found that 63% of people with disabilities in London thought others did not believe they were disabled.

State handouts

Just under half felt others presumed they were not in employment.

Planned government changes to the welfare system would see 1.9 million people on incapacity benefits being tested for their fitness to work.

The government thinks hundreds of thousands of people living on state handouts are in fact fit to work.

Scope chief executive Richard Hawkes said: “Much of the welfare reform debate has focused on disabled people as benefit scroungers.

“Many disabled people feel this has led to the public being more sceptical about disability issues.”

Mr Hawkes said the debate may lead to the public being “more hostile” to those who receive welfare support.

He continued: “Ironically this backdrop of negativity will only make it harder for the million disabled people who will be migrated off benefits to actually get a job.

“The support disabled people receive from government enables them to overcome the barriers they face in daily life.

“However, recent government spending decisions look to be eroding away the very foundations of this support.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “Abuse of this kind is unacceptable.

“We are clear our reforms are about helping people who can do some form of work back into employment, but equally those who cannot work can expect to get all the help and support they need.

“We know that a lot of disabled people want and expect to compete for jobs and we want to give them the support to do that.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. *Stargazer permalink
    June 13, 2011 4:04 pm

    I don’t live in London, 30 odd miles away but I understand the feelings of 63% of disabled Londoners, who think the able-bodied public don’t believe they are disabled/ deserving.

    I’m 36 but look younger, I dress in comfortable but youthful clothes, my walking stick has a snazzy print on it.
    When people ask and I tell them what’s wrong with me, they give me funny looks like I’m making it all up, putting it on, swinging the lead, defrauding the state – like I’m too young to be this ill.

    What’s worse still………………………………………………………….
    They say stupid things like “have you seen a doctor?” I think “whaddyou reckon, I could’ve seen a doctor?!”
    More stupidness “you need to stretch” I’m thinking (at scream level) in my head “not without a Physiotherapist – I’m Hypermobile!”
    “You need to go to the gym” Again, my inside scream voice “I have ME and Fibromyalgia!”
    “What about Pilates or Yoga?” See above!
    “How about a massage?” couldn’t hold my tongue on one occasion “Holding a door open with the back of my arm leaves me in agony, why would I want a massage when it hurts when I scratch my leg?!”
    SEE ABOVE???????????
    I only seem to have energy when I’m angry or bully myself into getting on with it – this is no way to live!

    I want to live in a bungalow in a field; with a satellite dish, a scooter, dogs, horses, pigs and chickens.
    But why should I live in isolation just to get a bit of peace – I want to find someone nice, get a good job and raise a family! I feel like I’m swimming in treacle, against the tide most of the time!

    With the way London Borough Councils are reducing housing benefit for single people up to age 35, disabled people in London under 36 will only be able to get a room in a shared house or hostel – which will be unsuitable for their needs – or they’ll have to use their DLA (which is supposed to be for mobility and care needs, to make up the shortfall to get somewhere suitable or stay where they are – thereby severely affecting quality of life.
    This will also cause an influx of people migrating from London to places like Luton, Watford and surrounds – areas where there are not enough suitable properties for the disabled people that already live there…………………………………….

    Imposition of Uninvited Denigration and Despair is the best way to describe it – the government guaranteeing an unsettled way of life for the forseeable future for disabled young people;
    this is too much for me to mentally cope with somedays, thinking of all those people who have such upheaval ahead of them – as if daily life isn’t hard enough!!!!!!.

    I hope and pray there’s a massive turnaround soon.
    In the right environment, in a home suitable for our needs, and the right support, some of us are capable of going from strength to strength; we’re aspiring to get to at least some kind of part-time work, enjoy something near a “normal” life – feel fulfilled.
    But we are instead marginalised and demoralised, sinking ever deeper into poverty and disadvantage.

    It seems the establishment have, little by little, decided that we are no longer worthy of homes that are suitable and/ or our need to feel useful, happy and worthy members of society.
    It’s far from fair – something should be done about it.

  2. June 13, 2011 8:27 pm

    It might be that its a mixture of people taking note about what the goverment talks about, a general lack of understanding of disabilities and of course the understanding that there are people that take advantage of the system, for some it will lead to confusion which probably leads to some of the hostility towards some individuals.

    • *Stargazer permalink
      June 16, 2011 9:21 pm

      I agree with you John 100%.
      Mis-conceptions from Propoganda Versus Chinese Whispers, available for a re-match with Ignorance in a bid to knock “The System Players” from the top spot in the “Whose Fault Is It Anyway” debacle!

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