21 12 2007

A campaign to shift societal attitudes toward the disabled similar to the Don’t Drink and Drive campaign is a wonderful idea. Attitudes can change for the better in a generation if society applies itself to the right endeavor.

Shift in attitude ‘needed’ toward disabled people

Healthcare Headlines

19 December 2007

Location: Scotland

http://www.craegmoor.co.uk/news/industry/18401548/shift_in_attitude_needed_toward_disabled_people.aspx

The communities minister, Stewart Maxwell, has said Holyrood’s equal opportunities committee should work with physical and learning disabilities charities to tackle negative attitudes and discrimination towards the less able.

Mr Maxwell suggested that a change in attitudes towards people with disabilities should be encouraged on the same scale as that which has accompanied drink-driving.

“Attitudes are one of the most difficult things to try and change in any society. There’s no point in trying to underestimate the size of the challenge we face,” he said.

“I do always think of the attitude towards drink-driving. When I was young drink-driving was something where you were unfortunate if you were caught, but a lot of people didn’t bother,” he explained.

“It took a generation, it took 20-30 years to change attitudes about drink-driving and yet that was a relatively ingrained attitude. It was just something that people hadn’t taken a view on,” he said.

His comments come in response to a report into the lives of disabled people, as the committee strives to ensure the government’s implementation of 156 of its recommendations.

Mr Maxwell promised to work with groups like the Leonard Cheshire foundation on anti-discrimination campaigns.

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