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Immediate “Paralympic effect” has made people more positive about disability

The London 2012 Paralympics has led to a significant increase in people feeling positive about the role of disabled people, according to polls tracking how perceptions have changed during the Paralympic Games.
Surveys by ComRes carried out immediately before the Paralympics and over the last weekend of the Games, show that three quarters of people (76%) say they feel positive about the role of disabled people in UK society, up from 68% a fortnight ago.
The research, commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations, found 81% of the public agree that disabled people often experience prejudice and discrimination, up from 74% a fortnight ago.

ComRes surveyed people between 24-25 August before the Games opened, and again between 7-9 September over the last weekend of the Games.

The survey found strong support for charities working with disabled people. Nearly three quarters of people (73%) believe it is important to donate to charities working to support disabled people in the UK, consistent with opinion before the Games.

The research also showed that people see disabled people as role models for society. Nearly two out of three people (79%) say that the media should do more to promote disabled people as role models in society.

The survey found:

• 76% of people agree that the Paralympic Games are making them feel more positive about the role of people with disabilities in UK society, up from 68% before the Paralympics
• 73% of people believe it is important to donate to charities that work to support disabled people in the UK, compared with 72% before the Paralympics
• 45% of people agree that the Paralympic Games will make them more likely to give to charities that help disabled people, up from 44% before the Paralympics
• 76% of people agree that disabled people often experience prejudice or discrimination in UK society, up from 68%  before the Paralympics
• 79% of people agree that the UK media should do more to promote people with disabilities as role models in society 
up from 78%  before the Paralympics
• 78% of people agree that,  “with the exception of the Paralympic Games, disabled people are not generally visible in UK media” compared with 72% before the Paralympics
• 37% of people agree that the British Government does enough to support disabled people in the UK, down from 39% before the Paralympics
Richard Harrison, Director of Research at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “The Games has been an incredible, life-affirming celebration of sport and humanity. The Paralympic Games have already started to change attitudes to disabled people.

“It is great to see such strong support for charities which work with disabled people. This summer of sporting excellence has shown what can be achieved when both athletes and the volunteers helping to deliver the Games, give their time and commitment.

“The feeling of the nation rallying round a great sporting cause has been fantastic. One fantastic legacy of the Games would be for people to think of new ways to support the causes they really care about.”
 

ComRes interviewed 2102 British adults online between 7th and 9th September 2012. ComRes also interviewed 2045 British adults online between 24th and 27th August 2012 – the weekend before the start of the Paralympic Games. Both sets of data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.