Thursday, May 28, 2009

British families face prejudice, survey finds

Families of children with disabilities in the UK feel shut out of society due to negative attitudes and a shortage of services, according to a survey published this month by the charity Contact A Family.

Nearly 70 per cent of 615 families said understanding and acceptance of disability in their community is poor or unsatisfactory.

This is significant because there’s a general public perception that we’ve come a long way in improving attitudes toward children with disabilities, yet the reality for these parents is that they often feel their child and family is misunderstood and left out.

Other findings from the study:

• Over 60 per cent of parents say they don’t feel listened to by professionals and that their role is not valued by society.

• Almost half said they lacked respite care that would give them a short break, and childcare that would enable them to work.

• The survey references a British study showing that it costs three times more to raise a child with a disability.

Does your child and family feel understood and included in most parts of everyday life? Or does your child and family feel stigmatized by negative attitudes or ignorance? What can we do to improve understanding and acceptance of children with disabilities and their families?

Majority of families with disabled children face prejudice, says survey