Watch: Advocacy group aims to “end the awkward” when interacting with disabled people

Photo: Scope's End the Awkward Campaign. Image source: Google Images,

Dominant society places physical, architectural, communication and social barriers in the way, leading to isolation, unemployment, hate crimes and an overall lack of access for disabled people. And the social barriers are often compounded by generally well-meaning non-disabled people who avoid talking to disabled people for fear of saying the wrong thing. One disability services group aims to change that with an ad campaign.

Scope, a UK-based organization, advocates for “disabled people to have the same opportunities as everyone else.” And the group’s new ad campaign, End the Awkward, humorously and honestly tackles the social ineptness of some non-disabled people.

Scope partnered with the advertising firm Grey London and TV host Alex Brooker to make a clever series of ads meant to help non-disabled people avoid being awkward (and actively offensive) when interacting with disabled people. Scope has even devised a quiz to assess your level of awkwardness with disabled people.

According to Scope’s website:

Is awkwardness around disability really that important? Yes. We believe it is.

Disabled people have told us that the attitudes they face play a big part in their lives, whether it’s going for a job interview or out at the pub.

Most Brits say they don’t feel comfortable talking to disabled people. And mainly that’s because they’re worried about doing or saying the wrong thing and feeling awkward.

Our research shows that younger people are more likely to have negative attitudes towards disabled people. This campaign uses humour to get them thinking differently about disability. We’ve developed it with disabled people and the younger people we’re trying to reach.

The ads explore situations of non-disabled people interacting with people who use wheelchairs, people who are missing limbs and people who are hard of hearing. The ads will air on national British television, but you can watch them below:

End the Awkward: Bending Over to a Wheelchair User

End the Awkward: Chat Up

End the Awkward: Handshake

also offers other excellent online resources, including guides for and reports about:

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