Families with disabled children ‘still face barriers’


Fewer than one in six families with disabled children believe they have the support they need to lead a full family life, according to a new survey.
The charity Scope, which carried out the online survey of 500 families with disabled children across the UK, said the results showed they still faced substantial barriers, such as unsuitable housing and a lack of support networks.
The results were part of a report, Disabled Families in Flux: Removing Barriers to Family Life, published to coincide with National Family Week.
The survey also found a “staggering” 61 per cent of families with disabled children do not have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about family life.
More than a third class their home as unsuitable for their child’s needs, compared with one in ten families with non-disabled children, who were surveyed by the market research firm Tickbox.
The report also found that while four fifths of families with no disabled children find it easy to enjoy leisure activities, less than three fifths of families with disabled children can access them.
Families with disabled children are also twice as likely to spend little or no quality time together.
And less than a third of families with disabled children feel accepted by their local communities, compared with almost half the families with no disabled children.
The report concludes that the lives of many families in Britain are underpinned by “systemic disablism”.
Sharon Collins, managing director of Scope Services, said: “We hope this report will encourage policy-makers and service-providers to adopt a more holistic approach to meeting the needs of families of disabled children and develop more family-centred support services.”