Seven in 10 adults with disabilities suffer social barrier

FOR many people with a severe disability daily life is a jail sentence, new research shows.

Seven out of 10 adults with disabilities said physical barriers prevented them from social and leisure activities.

But the most frequent barriers for parents and carers of adults with disabilities were social – a lack of understanding of disability, or a poor attitude.

More than 40% of adults, 57% of parents and carers of adults and 53% of parents of children identified social barriers, such as a lack of understanding or a poor attitude to disability.

The research, based on the responses of 180 people with disabilities, parents and carers, was published yesterday by Enable Ireland.

One young man wrote that it felt as if his sister did not matter and that it was OK for her not to have the same opportunities as him – he is 27 and she is 26.

Another respondent wrote: “It is very important to change people’s mindsets towards disability. Children are super, but some adults can be disappointing.”

While seven out of 10 adults with disabilities identified physical access as their main barrier to social and leisure activities, a third of parents and carers of adults said it was less of a problem. For them social barriers featured predominantly at almost 60%.

The most difficult activity identified by parents of children with disabilities was playing sports, with 63% saying it was quite or very difficult for their children to play sports. A total of 57% said their children never played sports.

The easiest activity was shopping, with over half saying that shopping was either quite or very easy.

Just under 15% of adults with disabilities said that they socialised on a daily basis and visiting friends was regarded as the easiest activity.

Three-quarters of those who took part said they would like to get out at least once a week. Less than 40% were able to.

The research was published in advance of Enable Ireland’s Action Week on Disability that begins on Monday.

Information on Enable Ireland’s Action week is available on their website www.enableireland.ie.


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