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Results of the Lou Harris Poll

Thompson Lightstone & Company Limited
Suite 600
350 Bloor Street East
Toronto, ON   M4W 1H4
tel: (416) 922-1140
fax: (416) 922-8014

May 12, 1997


During March, 1997, a series of questions for Louis Harris (Canada) were included on Thompson Lightstone's telephone omnibus study (Omnitel) covering the, public perception of barriers faced by people with disabilities; awareness of laws governing the removal, or prevention, of these barriers; and, public attitudes towards the introduction of possible new legislation to address these barriers.

The questions for the study were designed in consultation with representatives from the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee. A copy of the questions is appended to this summary.

The questions were asked of a random sample of 2,095 Canadians 18 years of age or older. A sample of this size is accurate to at least 2.2% 19 times out of 20. Of the 2,095 interviews, 523 were conducted in Ontario. This sample size is accurate to 4.3% 19 times out of 20. The results for Ontario are very similar to those for Canada as a whole.

Overall, the results show very strong support for the introduction of new legislation covering the removal, and prevention, of barriers to people with disabilities. The following are the highlights of the results of the study for Ontario.

The majority of people in Ontario believe that there should be laws in place that are effective in removing barriem to equal access for people with disabilities. Support for effective legislation varies by area from 66% for legislation covering consumer products to 78% covering removal of barriers to government services:

There should be a law which specifically requires that barriers to people witb disabilities be identified and removed in...

government services 78%
job training 77%
public places 76%
the workplace 75%
housing 70%
consumer products 66%

of those who did not support the introduction of legislation, 25% did support the introduction of laws covering new developments; even though such laws would, in some cases, cost money to implement, 85% of people say these expenditures "would be worth it"

of those interviewed, most believe that people with disabilities currently face barriers in,

  • employment
  • access to public transportation
  • access to public places
  • access to housing
  • access to office buildings

They are less likely to agree that barriers exist in,

  • access to government services
  • use of everyday products
  • access to quality education and the opportunity to attend college

84% of those interviewed in Ontario believe that bringing disabled people into the workplace would "benefit society," 66% say that it would be a "boost to society" 88% of people believe that people with disabilities can only find jobs with difficulty, 64% indicate that, in their opinion, people with disabilities are generally "worse off financially." However, 69% feel that people with disabilities do want to get jobs.

77% of people in Ontarlo claim to know someone with disabilities, whether a family member, friend, co-worker, or someone they interact with on a regular basis.

For further information on the results of this survey, please contact ...

Ivor Wm. Thompson, Director DISABILITIES SECTION

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