research on disabilities

Topics: Discrimination, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Disability Pages: 42 (12369 words) Published: October 7, 2013

Rights and reality

Disabled people’s experiences of accessing goods and services

Eleanor Gore and Guy Parckar, 2010

Executive Summary4
Key findings4
Chapter 1 – Introduction and background11
Inaccessibility, disability poverty and social exclusion12
The current system15
The Equality Act17
Chapter 2 – Findings of our research 20
About the study20
Experience of discrimination21
Types of problems experienced in the last 12 months
Public transport24
Shops and services26
Challenging unfair treatment28
Barriers to taking cases32
Using the law – case study38
Improving access – a business case39
Chapter 3 – Conclusion42
Chapter 4 – Recommendations43
How to improve the system43
Summary of key recommendations49
Annex A - Bibliography
Executive Summary

In 1995 the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) set out important new rights for disabled people across the UK. For the first time this gave disabled people the right to challenge discrimination when trying to access goods and services. But 15 years on disabled people still report problems in accessing shops, services and other facilities.

Enjoying equal access to goods and services must be seen as a basic right – it cannot be acceptable for disabled people to be denied access to services simply because of their impairment. It is the barriers and inaccessibility that people face that disables them – it is what denies people opportunities, it is what leads to inequality, social exclusion and disability poverty. Whilst access to goods and services is only part of this wider issue, it should be considered a critical aspect of any drive to challenge poverty and to reach a fairer, more equitable society.

This report examines:

why services are still not fully accessible;
the extent of the problems that disabled people are facing;
what barriers people face to accessing their rights under the law; what might be done to make the situation better.
Key findings

This report is based on two key pieces of research. Firstly it presents the findings of a large-scale quantitative survey, carried out on Leonard Cheshire Disability’s behalf by Ipsos MORI. A total of 1,095 disabled people were identified and interviewed face-to-face over four waves of Ipsos MORI’s weekly Omnibus service (Capibus).

Secondly it reports on in-depth qualitative interviews with 15 disabled people, conducted by Leonard Cheshire Disability, all of whom had experienced problems accessing goods and services. The in-depth interviews are not used to provide statistical data, but instead are used to explore people’s views and experiences in more detail.

The Leonard Cheshire Disability and Ipsos MORI research asked about the extent to which disabled people had experienced discrimination in accessing goods and services:

Two in five (40%) disabled people in Britain were able to identify difficulties they had experienced accessing goods and services in the last 12 months

One in four (23%) disabled people in Britain believe that they have experienced discrimination related to their impairment in accessing goods and services in the last 12 months.

The types of problems experienced include:

16% of disabled people have experienced difficulty using public transport; 15% of disabled people have experienced a lack of facilities for disabled people; 13% of disabled people have experienced difficulty entering or getting around premises; 5% of disabled people have experienced service providers talking down to them or using inappropriate language; 2% of disabled people have experienced difficulty in getting information in an accessible format.

The survey also asked about disabled people’s knowledge of the law:

one in five (20%) of disabled people in Britain have never heard of the...

Bibliography: ‘Disability Poverty in the UK’, Parckar, G, Leonard Cheshire Disability, 2008
‘Mind the Gap’, Campion J et al, Leonard Cheshire Disability, 2003
‘Disability Review 2009’, Greenhalgh, C and Gore, E, Leonard Cheshire Disability, 2009
‘Monitoring the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Phase 2)’, Leverton, DWP 2002
‘Independent Living: A cross-government strategy about independent living for disabled people’, Office for Disability Issues, 2008
‘A Fairer Future: The Equality Bill and other action to make equality a reality’, Government Equalities Office, 2009
‘Costs and benefits to service providers of making reasonable adjustments under Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act’, Meager et al., DWP, 2002
About Leonard Cheshire Disability
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