According to Mencap, there are around 1.4 million people who live with a learning disability in the UK. However, sadly, research released by charity Dimensions has revealed that this community still face the brunt of negative attitudes towards them in society, and are victim to discriminatory behaviour on a daily basis.
Commissioned to mark Hate Crime Awareness Week this year, the survey of 2,000 Brits has shown that tolerance towards people living with learning disabilities in the UK is worryingly low. For example, it revealed that 1 in 6 of us would feel uncomfortable sitting next to someone with a learning disability on public transport, and 1 in 7 would feel uncomfortable if they were our neighbour. And although we like to think inaccurate stereotypes and a lack of tolerance are the tropes of past generations, the report found that, unexpectedly, younger people tend to have more negative views.
1 in 5 people under 35 admitted to having laughed at someone, called someone a name or avoided talking to someone completely because of their learning disability. If it couldn’t get any worse, 6% admitted that they’ve even physically hurt someone in the past, with their disability being the reason for their violence.