Negative attitudes, or perceived negative attitudes, towards people with disabilities can become a barrier to the inclusion of people with disabilities, and to achieving their full potential.

The National Disability Authority has conducted a series of surveys at regular intervals on public attitudes towards people with disabilities (2001, 2006, and 2011 and 2017). Public attitudes improved between 2011 and 2017 and largely returned to 2006 levels, We have also co-funded surveys on public attitudes to mental health conducted by See Change.

The National Disability Survey 2006 explored how people with disabilities experienced negative attitudes to them. A majority did not find that negative attitudes prevented them doing what they would want, however, younger people and those with mental health difficulties, intellectual or learning disabilities were more likely to report it as a problem.