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Too many disabled people won't leave the house, scared they'll be bullied

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I’ve always had feelings, from a young age, of being lonely and cut off from the world.

Being a full-time wheelchair user with a disability, osteogenesis imperfecta, means I’ve spent considerable time in hospital, missing out on school and interacting with my peers.

My parents were understandably ‘overprotective’, not allowing me to go and play with friends or be invited to sleepovers. I was excluded from lessons because classrooms were inaccessible, or sports hadn’t been differentiated to allow me to participate. Often I was simply told that I couldn’t or shouldn’t do certain things.

For disabled people, feeling ostracised from society comes from a number of factors including emotional loneliness as a result of discrimination, prejudice and internalised ablism, social isolation deriving from attitudinal and physical barriers, and the impact of austerity.

Now shocking new research by Mencap has found that fear of being bullied is leading to social isolation for people with a learning disability. More than one in three people with a learning disability said that being bullied is one of the things they worry about when they go........

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