Experiences and expectations of disabled people: a research report for the Office of Disability Issues

Document type
Williams, Bridget; Copestake, Phil; Eversley, John
Office for Disability Issues
Date of publication
1 July 2008
Disabled people, Mental health services, Health Services, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services
Social welfare
Material type

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The aims of this research report include helping develop an evidence base and generalised picture to better understand disabled people’s lives. It also seeks: to provide baseline information to aid the monitoring of progress towards the Government’s 2025 vision of achieving substantive equality for disabled people and traceable measures by which to monitor progress; to produce research that involves and consults disabled people at all stages of the project; to provide evidence on the effect of discrimination on disabled people’s lives – particularly experiences of and reactions to discrimination; and to inform future policy development and feed into the formulation of further research, including an Office of Disability Issues longitudinal survey of disabled people, and other future disability surveys. The study specifically examined areas such as transport, health and well-being, economic well-being, housing and home life, education, employment, and experiences and perceptions of discrimination. The research methodology included the involvement of disabled people and disability-focused organisations, through active engagement with a reference network and steering group, three stages of qualitative research, which aimed to inform the scope and content of the survey questionnaire and to enable the inclusion of some groups who may not otherwise have been included in the study, and a large-scale quantitative survey of disabled people in Britain. The report concludes that disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to experience disadvantage. Compared with the population as a whole, disabled people are less likely to be in paid work, less likely to hold academic qualifications, and more likely to live in lower income households. The study also found that people with mental health conditions reported the least positive experiences and outcomes, they were less likely than other disabled people to be in paid work, were less satisfied with many aspects of their life, more likely to live in lower income households and feel that they had experienced discrimination.

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