Disability charity Scope  has today launched a new campaign aimed at tackling social attitudes around disability that lead to awkwardness.

‘Let’s End the Awkward’ accompanies a report on public attitudes and their impact on disabled peoples’ lives. It reveals that two thirds of the British public feel uncomfortable talking to someone with a disability, while a fifth of 18-34-year-olds have actively avoided speaking to a disabled person because they weren’t sure how to communicate with them.

This seems to be the result of a lack of understanding and the charity hopes the new campaign will help stop the awkwardness of everyday situations, particularly for younger people who may not think much about disability.

Scope believe that a better education on disability issues, as well as more positive portrayals of disability in the media, are needed to accelerate a shift in attitudes, a point our Campaigns Panel noted in its recent report Superhumans or Scroungers.

The report, compiled by a group of people we support and their families, found that disabled people are often portrayed in polarising ways – either as superhuman Paralympic athletes or benefit scroungers.

The reality is somewhere in between, meaning that many disabled people can feel that everyday aspects of their lives are ignored. Campaigns Panel member Lesley said: “It is sad that [disabled people] are so often portrayed as being ‘other’ rather than full members of society.”

This can lead to a sense of isolation for disabled people, a theme that was notable throughout our Postcards from the Edges campaign and captured in Nathan’s postcard here.

We welcome the campaign to end awkwardness and hope that it challenges attitudes towards disability, allowing people with disabilities to have their voices heard and be treated with the same respect as everyone else.

To view the rest of Scope's videos on ending the awkwardness, click here.


Gemma Taylor, media assistant.