Charity warns disabled people will ‘fade from view’ after Paralympics
Almost half of disabled people and carers who took part in a survey believe the legacy of the Paralympics is already fading, according to a charity.
Months after the London Games wrapped up, 40 per cent of respondents to the study by Vitalise said they were worried that any positive change would not last.
Fifty-four per cent of the respondents reckon the public does not have a better understanding of the day to day lives of people with disabilities.
The survey was carried out in early October among the people with disabilities and carers who have taken respite breaks with Vitalise. Two thirds (65 per cent) of the respondents were people with disabilities.
The charity is now is urging people to help sustain the Paralympic legacy by engaging with people with disabilities and helping them play a much more significant role in society.
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Chief executive Chris Simmonds said: “Last week, in a moving reference to his son, David Cameron talked of how, thanks to the Paralympics, ‘more people would see the boy and not the wheelchair...’
“There is no denying that the Paralympics has helped society view disability in a much more positive light.
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“But the feel good factor may not last forever, and our survey has highlighted the concerns of people with disabilities that they will fade from public view and become invisible to society once again. We must not let that happen.”
Vitalise’s call is being backed by Team GB Paralympian and 7/7 survivor Martine Wright.
She added: “People with disabilities have huge potential. They want to play a part in society, to make a contribution, but too often they are held back by the negative attitudes of others.
“The Games have done an enormous amount of good, but until we start thinking in terms of what people with disabilities can do, not what they can’t, I’m worried that little will change in the long run.”