At a reception in the House of Commons, Leonard Cheshire launched their Social Exclusion Report 2002.
"This report brings home the discrimination that confronts disabled people to-day and indicates priorities for action. All the MP's who attended were impressed by how much still remains to be done."
See summary of report below.
1 One of the major findings of our research was the very real exclusion experienced by disabled people in accessing primary health care. 21% of all participants found a hospital with an accident and emergency ward inadequate for their needs or inaccessible". This is over 50% higher than for the general population.
2 Four times more disabled participants than was the case in the general population found dental, practices inadequate or inaccessible and twice as many disabled participants as the general population, found doctors' surgeries inadequate or inaccessible.
3 Our findings also illustrate the varying degrees of inaccessibility to public services which people experience depending on their impairment. For example, whereas 12% of wheelchair users found doctors' surgeries inaccessible or inadequate, almost 60% (5 times as many) of profoundly deaf people found them so.
4 One third of the disabled people surveyed cannot afford to meet the extra heating costs arising from their disability.
5 Over 80% of the disabled people surveyed regard personal care/support services as essential but 20% cannot afford them.
6 Lack of access to information and technology is a key barrier for many disabled people:
6% of the general population considered access to the lnternet essential, as opposed to 54% of disabled people;
55% of disabled people considered access to email essential.,
7% of the general population considered a mobile phone essential to modern life compared to 65% of disabled people.
7 60% of all our disabled participants state that factors arising from their disability prevent them from participating in common social activities. Reasons cited included being made to feel unwelcome, lack of disability access and lack of confidence.
8 A warm, decently decorated house; participation in social customs such as present giving; inviting people round for a meal; an annual holiday - these are some of the items that disabled people consider essential to modern living but cannot afford. These are basic elements of daily living; they are not luxuries. In comparison with the general population, however, disabled people are impoverished in these respects.