disabled had nothing or little to contribute to the world in the educational, social, or employment arena. For the most part those that were disabled either physically or mentally were shuffled off to the side and largely ignored. They would be taken care of by family members or institutions and any discussion of growth or accomplishment was quickly discouraged. While this seemed natural for many years, recent history has discovered that this was cruel in several ways. Those who are disabled still have feelings, hopes, goals and desires that they have a right to pursue and explore. In addition the world was missing out on the many contributions to the work, school and social arenas that the disabled could provide.
The United Kingdom has not been known for its kind treatment of the disabled and it has only been in recent history that things have begun to change.
While the United States and other areas of the world have federal mandates in place to protect the right of the disabled to be fully involved with the world, the United Kingdom has long since lagged in this arena. When someone in wheelchair applies for a government job there is no guarantee they can even attend the interview if the government building is not handicap accessible. In addition someone with seizure disorder can be released from her position if her disorder is discovered.
Until now, the only legislation relevant to disabled people in work has been the 1944 Disabled Persons Employment Act. This established the quota system, which is to be abolished under the government's Disability Discrimination Bill. The quota, which said that any workplace employing 20 or more people must have a minimum Of 3 per cent registered disabled employees, has never been enforced. Employers' organisations have been calling for its abolition, primarily because it sits so uneasily beside mainstream equal opportunities legislation. However, at the moment in the absence of other legislation, the quota does operate as some form of benchmark. It can also serve as a lever for disabled people to get through the door. Many disability groups are therefore calling for the quota to be retained until the new law can be reviewed, and alternative monitoring schemes established. "
This proposed study will answer the question about changing attitudes when it comes to the acceptance and treatment of the disabled in the United Kingdom.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The world of a disabled person can be extremely frustrating. The person who is disabled has to overcome obstacles that non-disabled people never have to face. The disabled person not only faces physical or mental obstacles but they also have to deal with the narrow minded attitudes of those is society who do not think they have anything to contribute to the world. In many nations including the United States the disabled are protected by federal mandates that prevent discrimination against them based on their disability. In places with protections in place there are mandates to include handicap accessibility in many government and public places as well as consequences for the discrimination against a disabled person. When the disabled have protections in place it levels the playing field for them and allows them to work, be educated and socialize in the same way that non-disabled people take for granted. When there are no measures in place to protect the rights of the disabled it becomes more difficult to manage daily life. Whether one can enter a building to go to school or work, whether one can be dismissed from their job because of their disability and other factors come into play. The world of a disabled person living in an area that does not have government mandates becomes much more narrow. The disabled person has to depend on members of society to do the right thing and level the playing field for them. The disabled residents of the United Kingdom have had an uphill battle for many years. It has been common place in the UK for disabled people to face and be treated with extreme and blatant discrimination practices. If one is honest about their disability in many parts of the United Kingdom one faces the possibility that they will be shut out of educational, social and employment opportunities because of their disability. As the world continues to globalize the changing attitudes towards the disabled is becoming well-known around the world. Today in many areas the disabled are being accommodated so that they can contribute as positive members of society to the world. The United Kingdom is not one of the most advanced areas in the area of treatment of the disabled. While the UK has been behind in this arena for many years there seems to be some movement toward the improvement of treatment regarding the disabled within its boundaries. Whether or not the changing attitudes are going to be enough to level the playing field for its disabled has not been determined. This study is going to answer whether the attitudes of UK residents, businesses and others has really changed toward disabled residents and if so has it been a positive or a negative change in attitude.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
While many grass roots organizations work to change the attitudes held in the United Kingdom regarding disabled residents the government has been slow to the call. The disabled population in the United Kingdom is not the only affected population in the mix. With the current globalization in progress there are many travelers from around the world who work and reside in the UK. In addition there are many vacation seekers who travel tot the UK for their holiday. All of these transient movements provide the risk of disabled patrons being in the United Kingdom and not being able to function because of the lack of accommodations. As the topic begins to heat up it is becoming important to measure the attitudes of people in the United Kingdom regarding the disabled. It is important to know what the attitudes are about the disabled in the United Kingdom so that decisions can be made about the need and/or level of possible future government involvement.
While there have been occasional studies conducted about various aspects of being disabled there has been very little research conducted regarding the attitude of those in the United Kingdom toward disabled people. A research study on the disabled and the changing attitudes will be beneficial to many organizations that have a future vested interest in outcome of the study.
Until recently there was very little support for the disabled who lived, worked and played in the United Kingdom.
More than two thirds of disabled people in the United Kingdom have no income but benefit, and a recent 1994 Mencap report estimates that Social Security Benefits to very severely disabled people fall short by an average 30 [pounds] a week. Unemployed disabled people represent a significant pool of talent which employers can ill-afford to ignore. Traditionally in the UK the appropriate response to disability has been through charitable giving. This approach has meant that many disabled people have had no experience of or access to the entire employment process - job training, application, career fairs, interviews and employment itself. It has also meant that legislation and policy in this area has lacked the necessary input from informed employers. Most employers have had so little contact with disabled people and so little information relevant to their concerns and priorities that they have tended to leave the debate to the others. A key difficulty with last year's Civil Rights Bill debate was that none of the major employers'organisations had been adequately consulted. Thus the real implications for employers were not understood and created anxiety. The 30 per cent of disabled adults who are in full-time work got there by very different routes. The great majority require no special assistance at all. Sheltered employment, such as the government's Remploy scheme, provides some work opportunities and can offer useful training for those who would have particular difficulties starting mainstream work."
The need to determine what attitudes are changing in the United Kingdom is important for future policy making decisions. While some mandates are being put into place there is no research at this point that measures the success or compliance with that mandate. In addition it is important to determine what the changing attitudes are conveying to those who are disabled as well as others in society. The decision to educate populations can be better decided if it is known what is thought by the general population when it comes to disabilities.
This proposed study will ask the question: Are the attitudes in the United Kingdom changing toward disabilities and if so are those changes positive or negative in nature?
While there have not been a lot of changes in the United Kingdom there have been some changes. The United Kingdom has developed and implemented some mandates in several areas…