How Many of These Questions Can You Answer Correctly? Quiz Scores Show There’s a Wide Knowledge Gap About Disability

Dean Askin, Communications Strategist

Filed under Disability Awareness & Confidence

A few days ago I was analyzing statistics from ODEN’s Disability Myth Quiz, for an internal report about our National Disability Employment Awareness Month campaign. And the analysis was disturbing, to say the least.

Over 200 people — 237, to be exact — did the quiz during NDEAM in October. And the scores are revealing.

They’re non-scientific evidence that reinforces what everyone in the disability sector knows and is continually stressing in their key messaging to business and industry: There are still many myths and misconceptions about disability and employment that need to be dispelled. Because they create barriers to employment. And access to employment is a human right for everyone. So affirms the United Nations.

In 2021, there’s more awareness of, conversation about and action on disability inclusion in business, than ever before. That said, there remains — in this third decade of the 21st century, nonetheless — a wide knowledge-and-awareness gap about disability and employment.

Low quiz scores tell the story

All it takes is 12 multiple-choice questions to show the gap. That’s how many there are in ODEN’s Disability Myth Quiz. They’re by no means difficult questions. Every one is based on statistics, or the findings of numerous research reports.

Only nine out of 237 people (3.8%) chose the right answer to all 12 questions.

In fact, the majority of quiz scores were, shall we say, on the low side: 58 people (24.5%) scored zero to four.

Another 35 people (14.8%) tallied between five and eight questions right.

A mere 20 people out of the 237 quiz-takers (8.4%) scored nine to 12 correct answers.

What the quiz analysis showed

Quiz revelations, new U.K. study findings both disturbing

All of these revelations are rather disheartening for anyone who works in the disability sector, and anyone affected by disability in whatever way.

Yes, these findings are based on a simple quiz and in no way constitute formal research into the lack of disability awareness that’s still too prevalent in 2021.

But the findings from our Disability Myth Quiz aren’t dissimilar to the findings of an authoritative, newly released research report by Leonard Cheshire Disability in the U.K.

It’s titled, Still Locked Out.

And the findings of the report are equally as disheartening and disturbing as the results of our non-scientific quiz.

What Still Locked Out found out

The report found, one in five (19%) businesses are less likely to recruit or hire job seekers who have a disability. Why? Because of a lack of awareness and knowledge that’s creating a host of perceived barriers to employment in the U.K. Among these perceived barriers:

Leonard Cheshire Disability affirms, in the Still Locked Out report, that lack of knowledge and awareness is resulting in “discrimination and negative attitudes” towards job seekers who have a disability remains “entrenched among some employers.” While the report refers specifically to the U.K., its findings resonate here in North America, too.

Needle still moves too slowly

I suspect Royal Air Force Group Captain (Geoffrey) Leonard Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO & Two Bars, DFC, would be extremely disheartened by the findings of both our Disability Myth Quiz, and the Still Locked Out report by the organization that grew out of the hospice he founded.

He’d be disheartened to know the state of things in 2021, 70-odd years after Cheshire began doing all he could to help veterans who had a disability following the end of World War Two. (Cheshire passed away in 1992.)

I’m sure that Cheshire, who flew a Halifax bomber on 100 missions over Occupied France and Germany, would be on a mission to get the needle on disability awareness moving a lot more and faster than it is in 2021.

Society’s behind on disability awareness in the 21st Century

As the authors of Untold Stories: A Canadian Disability History Reader note in the opening of the book’s introduction, “Disability has always been a part of the diversity of humanity. It is an undeniable part of the human experience across all social sectors… .”

Except, there’s still too much lack of awareness and knowledge, as both our quiz and this new research report reveal.

Especially when 1.8 billion people worldwide identify as having at least one disability.

Especially when we’re an advanced society living in the middle of the third decade of the 21st century.

Disability awareness-building still critical

This why things like our Disability Myth Quiz; National Disability Employment Awareness Month; Disability Awareness and Confidence Training for businesses; and the general repetitive, driving home of key messages about disability and employment — 365 days a year, not just for one month during NDEAM every October — remain essential.

So if you haven’t taken our Disability Myth Quiz yet, go ahead. Take the quiz.

Test — and build — your knowledge about disability and employment. It’s good for personal growth, and may also help you know where you are on the disability-inclusion journey of your organization.

Whichever level you turn out to be when you’re done the quiz — D&I Novice, D&I Intern or D&I Champ, I hope you’ll do this: Follow the recommendations that pop up with your ranking. A few recommendations can go a long way in raising awareness about, and making even more progress on, disability inclusion in our lifetime.