85 percent of disabled people aged 18-34 say they are lonely often or all the time, new research from disability organisation Scope has established.

The study involved interviews with over 1,000 disabled people.

It is not just young people that are chronically lonely: 45 percent of working age disabled adults are lonely, the survey suggests. This equates to three million people.

Community exclusion

Chief Executive Mark Atkinson analysed the data and outlined some common causes.

"For a start, life costs more when you are disabled, and this includes socialising and getting out to see friends and family," Atkinson says.

"In the same vein, underfunding in the social care system makes it so much harder for disabled people to get basic support to live the lives they choose. Making plans on a whim or carrying out simple tasks like meeting a friend for coffee isn't always an option when you don't have the basic support to give you that freedom."

"Another factor is a lack of community activities - especially for the parents of disabled children. On top of this, disabled people have also told us that negative public attitudes - and a lack of understanding - play a big part in sometimes being unable to make friends or get involved in their local communities."

"Disabled people want to work, but they are being denied entry or squeezed out of the jobs market. Only about half of working age disabled people are in employment at any one time."

A version of this article also appears on our sister site, Learning Disability Today.