Film transforms French disability attitudes

French blockbuster ‘The Intouchables’ has done more to raise awareness of disabilities in France than either the Paralympics or government funded campaigns, a new report says.

Some 34 percent of the business professionals asked in the survey, conducted by the French institute of public opinion, IFO, said the film has changed the way they think about disabled people.

‘The Intouchables’, about a quadriplegic man and his carer, was released a year ago and received critical acclaim worldwide.

The importance attributed to the film in changing attitudes was matched only by meeting a disabled person in real life, the survey showed. Some 34 percent said personal contact with a disabled person had changed their point of view.

This summer’s Paralympic Games had influenced 28 percent, while 26 percent said campaigns to raise awareness had made them alter their opinion.

Experience of impaired mobility affected 25 percent of the sample, and workplace awareness schemes had had an impact on 23 percent of those asked.

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