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66% of Brits 'uncomfortable' talking to disabled people

Over half of the British public admitted to feeling awkward or uncomfortable talking to a disabled person because they are worried they may say something offensive by mistake, a survey has found.

Disability charity Scope, who are behind the survey, revealed young people were more likely to feel awkward around the disabled.

Almost half of Brits do not know anyone disabled, the Scope survey suggests. Credit: PA Wire

One fifth of 18-34 year olds went so far as to admit they had avoided to talking to a disabled person because they were unsure how to communicate with them.

Nearly half of the British public (43%) said they do not personally know anyone who is disabled.

However, 33% said getting to know someone in a wheelchair or an amputee would make them feel more confident when meeting a disabled person.

Scope: 'Benefit scrounger' rhetoric damaging attitudes

The disability charity Scope has blamed "'benefit scrounger' rhetoric" for the worsening attitude towards the disabled.

An ITV News poll has shown that more than 80% of disabled people say that attitudes towards them have not improved since the Paralympics:

The starting gun has been fired on the legacy debate.

Changing attitudes is at the heart of legacy. The Paralympics were a break-through moment. Disabled people had never been so visible. Disability had never been talked about so openly. But you don't change society in a fortnight.

Speak to disabled people and the same issue comes up: 'benefit scrounger' rhetoric; the divisive myth that most people on benefits are skivers.

Disabled people say they feel like they've done something wrong, because they need support to do the same things as everyone else.

The Government must stop the scrounger rhetoric once-and-for-all.

The Paralympics has inspired a small number to be more involved in sport or the community.

But ultimately it comes down a simple point: if you don't have the support you need to get up, get washed and get out of the house; if you're struggling to pay the bills - it's a big ask to join a tennis club.

– Alice Maynard, Chair of disability charity Scope

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Scope chief puts case against assisted suicide

The cases are unbearably tragic, but they cannot be the basis for changing a law that could affect millions.

Those are the words of the chief executive of disability charity Scope, written when the right-to-die cases from Paul Lamb and the family of Tony Nicklinson were put to the Court of Appeal in May.