Paralympic power

We at Enable aren’t the only ones encouraging Britain to keep thinking about disability in the aftermath of the Paralympic Games. The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 is also appealing to the public to keep up the positivity surrounding disability.

The Commission has praised London 2012 organisers for the Games themself, and say that the coverage and commentary that surrounded the Paralympics highlighted the power of the Games in educational terms – a recent Channel 4 survey showed that perceptions of disabled people have improved significantly since the Paralympics coverage began. The Commission hopes that this momentum is carried over into legacy; improving disabled facilities and accessibility to create a more socially sustainable society.

Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 said: “We are all riding on a wave of Paralympic good-will that has washed over the nation. It is now time for action to ensure this translates into improved outcomes for disabled people into the future.

“In our final series of reports on a post-Games legacy, we will be formally reviewing the power of the Paralympics and considering the lessons that should be passed to future host cities and legacy bodies in London.

“For me, the real highlight of the Paralympics was the volunteer Games Makers. Their cheerful, helpful attitude was an enormous contribution to the visitor experience. But their very presence underlines the lack of provision for disabled people in everyday life. Our Commissioner Andy Shipley attended the closing ceremony and was offered a more suitable seat to accommodate Winnie, his assistance dog, and a volunteer also went out of her way to escort him from St Pancras to Euston. But now the Games have left town, assistance like this could disappear.”

The Commission will be publishing two more reports in the coming months, examining the Games’ lasting impact on society: the Post-Games report this November; and the Making a Difference report based on their Beyond 2012 series of roundtables in March 2013.

Find out more about the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 at www.cslondon.org.

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