Stop the Shadows news

New study highlights loneliness in the disabled community

man in a wheelchair in a dark empty room staring out the window

A recent study by a leading charity has reminded us how loneliness affects the disabled community, despite remaining a subject rarely discussed.

Figures from a survey carried out by Sense shows 53 percent of people with complex disabilities feel isolated, in comparison to 25% of the general population.

Over 1,200 people living with two or more disabilities, such as being deafblind, took part in the study.

Around 69 percent said they had difficulty participating in social activities, which would give them the opportunity to meet new people and build their social network.

Results also showed problems with inaccessible venues (29%), toilets (21%) and transport (25%), but the highest percentage was linked to negative attitudes towards disabled people, at 38%.

Another barrier was the cost of living crisis, with 30% saying they can’t afford socialising with others, 85% expressed money concerns and 59% said they are finding it difficult to pay their energy bills, compared to 42% of non-disabled people.

Richard Kramer, Chief Executive at Sense, said: “Disabled people are under huge pressure with the rising cost of living, struggling to pay bills and worried about the future. We need the government to do more, recognising the higher everyday living costs disabled people face, and putting in place a long-term plan to support them.

Addressing figures from the charity’s recent study, Kramer said:  “We fear that the current cost of living pressures will further exacerbate social isolation and loneliness, already so high amongst disabled people.

“Beyond the immediate cost of living crisis, we must prioritise policies that promote inclusivity and accessibility, and invest in accessible transportation, buildings and our local communities.

“We must listen to disabled people who tell us negative attitudes are the biggest barrier they face and raise awareness about the benefits of a more inclusive society where disabled people can thrive and participate fully.”

[ Please use #StopTheShadows on social media to support ABLE2UK’s campaign highlighting loneliness in the disabled community ]

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