The head of a charity supporting people with learning disabilities has said the public need to wake up to the abuse disabled people face every day.
Kathryn Stone OBE, chief executive of Voice UK, spoke out after a new survey of disabled people reported a surge in hostility against them.
She said disabled people are spat at, accused of benefit scrounging and other "everyday indignities" and called on the public to "wake up" to the endemic abuse they face.
The Scope poll found that 46% of disabled people said people's attitudes towards them have got worse over the past year. 73% experienced the assumption that they don't work and 83% said coverage about benefits scroungers can negatively affect attitudes.
Disabled people also reported that they are increasingly confronted by strangers questioning their right to support.
"Disabled people facing hostility is not news either to disabled people, or for organisations supporting disabled people," Ms Stone said.
"At an event on Friday night, while the rest of the world watched the opening of the Olympics, I met a group of disabled people in Derby who were describing the everyday indignities they face.
"Name calling? Yes. Accusations of benefit scrounging? Yes. Being sworn at? Yes. Being spat at? Yes. The litany of awfulness went on and on. Others at the event shook their heads in disbelief. How can we let this happen? What should we do?
"A lot is being done already. The government's campaign to challenge and report hate crime is one approach.
"The police are much more aware of crimes against disabled people, and other groups targeted as a result of hostility towards them for who they are. The rest of us need to wake up to this too and work out what we need to do to challenge hate crime, challenge erroneous perceptions and ensure that all of us, whoever we are, live our lives free from harassment and fear."