By Andrew Holt
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 believe 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.”
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