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Attitudes to disabilities revealed
[Posted: Mon 23/01/2012 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
Most people believe that children with certain disabilities should not attend the same schools as children without disabilities, a new survey has revealed.
The survey by the National Disability Authority (NDA), which focused on national attitudes to disability, involved over 1,000 randomly selected adults and more than 250 people with various disabilities.
In the area of education, it found that while many people appeared to have no problem with children with physical disabilities attending schools with other children, a majority did have a problem with children with mental, intellectual, hearing and speech difficulties attending the same schools.
Furthermore, one in four said that they would actually object if a child with a mental health disability was put into the same class as their child, while one in five would object if a child with intellectual disabilities or autism was placed in their child's class.
"The most common reasons for objecting to such scenarios were on the grounds of special needs considerations and children with special needs not receiving sufficient support for their special needs," the NDA said.
In the area of employment, people were asked how comfortable they would be working with people with disabilities. Overall, respondants indicated that they would be more comfortable working with people with physical, hearing and visual disabilities compared to working with people with intellectual disabilities, mental health issues or autism.
"Among all respondents who indicated being uncomfortable having a work colleague with a disability, personal discomfort and suitability of work or work environment were the most common reasons why," the NDA said.
In the area of relationships, while most respondants said that people with disabilities have the same right to sexual relationships as everyone else, support for this statement was lower when it came to certain disabilities. For example, 78% of respondants believe that people with hearing, vision or speech disabilities have the same right to sexual relationships. However, when it comes to people with learning disabilities or autism, this figure falls to 51%.
"Among all respondents who were unsupportive of this right, people with disabilities not being capable of making decisions or of consenting were the main reasons offered for their lack of support," the NDA said.
Meanwhile, just over one in three people believe that those with mental health disabilities should have children if they want to. This figure rises to two in three when it comes to physical disabilities.
According to NDA chairperson, Peter McKevitt, the findings show that when a person knows someone with a disability, 'they are generally more likely to have positive attitudes to disability'.
"This consistent finding highlights the importance of promoting and enabling active participation of people with disabilities in the mainstream community and access to mainstream services," he commented.
|Anonymous Posted: 31/01/2012 10:53|
This is not "discrmination" -these reasons are are common sense.
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