This report catalogues the ways in which British society discriminates against disabled people and prevents them from living the lives they want to lead. Unlike sexism or racism, you won’t find the word ‘disablism’ in the dictionary. Yet it describes an all-too-real issue: discriminatory, oppressive or abusive behaviour arising from the belief that disabled people are inferior to others. ‘Institutional disablism’ describes a whole organisation’s disablist attitudes, practice and culture.
Bringing together data about disablism from a large number of sources in one place for the first time, it also draws on the stories of individual disabled people to show what the statistics mean in everyday terms for disabled people in the UK.
The report was inspired by Professor Colin Barnes 1991 book Disabled People in Britain and Discrimination. Its aim is to highlight and tackle disablism so that disabled people have the chance to live independent lives. Independent living is what non-disabled people do every day of their lives – it is equally the human right of disabled people to enjoy, but this fundamental right is denied to them living in a disablist society.