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Campaign to #EndTheAwkward as 62% of disabled people say they are treated differently and reveal common gaffes

A poll by disability charity Scope has found that 62% of disabled people are treated differently because of their disability.

The research, conducted for Scope's End the Awkward campaign, saw this figure rise to 76% among disabled people aged between 18 and 34, with strangers and shop staff the most likely culprits.

One of the #EndTheAwkward campaigns is called 'Worst First Day Ever' Credit: Scope/Channel 4

According to the 1,000 disabled people polled, the most common awkward gaffes are:

  • Being asked "what's wrong with you?" by a person who isn't disabled
  • Being accused of not really being disabled - experienced by 36% of people
  • Being patronised, with many saying that people try to help them in ways they do not want or need
  • Being told "you're brave"

To raise awareness of the nation's awkwardness, Scope and Channel 4 is releasing a new series of short films, called What Not To Do, based on real-life awkward moments faced by disabled people.

The series is fronted by Alex Brooker, the charity's ambassador and star of Channel 4's The Last Leg.

The six, three-minute films see Brooker, who has a prosthetic leg, and hand and arm disabilities, react to different scenarios as hidden camera set-ups expose awkwardness around disability.

The What Not To Do series is fronted by Alex Brooker Credit: Scope/Channel 4

Some people can feel a bit awkward about disability, but I think more often than not the awkwardness is coming from a good place - it's just someone not wanting to cause offence.

The situations in these short films are outrageous, but they're based on real life stories from disabled people.

I've gone through the awkward handshake myself a good few times.

We need to get past all that and end the awkward. Disability is only a small part of who someone is.

– Alex Brooker

Previous research by Scope has shown that 67% of Brits feel awkward around disabled people, and as a result they panic or avoid contact altogether.

It also found that nearly half of Britons do not personally know anyone who is disabled.

Mark Atkinson, interim chief executive of Scope, said: "We wanted to raise this issue in a light-hearted way, because it isn't about pointing fingers.

"But it can have a serious side. Many disabled people continue to face negative attitudes, in the playground, in the street, and from employers.

"We hope our campaign will start conversations about disability and get us all thinking about what we can do to include disabled people more in our lives."

To watch the films visit All 4.