Things have improved a lot since the Americans With Disabilities Act was approved and, as a result, it's not unusual to see people with special needs in public places.
But prejudice against them still exists.
I've often seen people talk to someone pushing a wheelchair and ignore the person sitting in it, or even talk about that person as if he or she weren't hearing the conversation. And lots of folks are obviously uncomfortable with anyone who seems different.
I hope eventually everyone will realize that, while a few people with mental illnesses or personality disorders might be dangerous, most people with special needs are people first and should be treated like other people.