I share the nation’s admiration of the extraordinary performances and achievements of the Paralympians. But I wonder whether, once the games are over, there will have been any significant long-term improvements for, or changes in attitude towards, people with disabilities. Here are a few things about which I would like some answers:
- Where are the ordinary disabled people doing ordinary things in the adverts that pepper the games?
- If manufacturers can develop prosthetic limbs that enable elite athletes to achieve sporting excellence, should they not also develop high-tech components affordable by the NHS so all amputees can reach their goal, even if that goal is taking the dog for a decent walk rather than breaking a sprinting world record?
- Will there really be a proliferation of properly-funded sporting activities for people with disabilities and a reduction in facilities where “disabled access” is a single shower seat?
- Will the concerns about the cuts to disability living allowance that have usefully been voiced by a number of Paralympians remain in the public’s consciousness after the Games? http://tinyurl.com/chg5vhn
And that is just for starters…