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Blog Debate: the Paralympics: brief feelgood moment, or lasting legacy?

(8 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Oct-12 17:20:45

Hello all

This week our Blog Debate examines the legacy of the Paralympics.

Culture Secretary (and former Minister for Disabled People) the Rt Hon Maria Miller MP argues that these Paralympics were a game-changer, which brought about a crucial shift in the nation's attitudes to disabled people.

Tania Tirraoro, who blogs at Special Needs Jungle thinks much more needs to be done. She argues that the feel-good factor of the Paralympics won't change the fact that disabled people are facing very challenging times, and that they might even have made it harder for those disabled people who aren't elite athletes to get the support they need.

Have a look, blog your thoughts or tell us what you think here on the thread - and don't forget to tweet about it using the hashtag #mumsnetblogdebate if you think others might be interested.

LindsayWagner Mon 01-Oct-12 22:07:08

I'm completely with Special Needs Jungle. I was shocked that the company whom the govt has gifted the massive contract to probe and prod all recipients of Disability Living Allowance - something which is making my disabled friends literally quake with fear - were allowed to bask in the touchy-feely herofest of the paralympics. Shame on them.

CMOTDibbler Tue 02-Oct-12 10:48:21

The paralympics may have raised awareness of elite disability sport and those who compete in it, but imo, its done nothing to help those with disabilities, and especially those with acquired disability participate in sport.

I was particularly narked at the British Cycling/Sky ride ads 'get everyone cycling' where not one image showed anyone with a disability, and there is no information at all on the website about adaptive cycling. I complained, but nothing happened.

TheLightPassenger Tue 02-Oct-12 16:10:18

Yep, am also with Tania of the special need jungle. Maria Miller's comments are full of empty feel good notions but lack substance, and she completely ignores the ATOS/disability reform issues and current difficulties for any jobseeker.

caramelwaffle Tue 02-Oct-12 19:02:50

Simply reading those two opinion pieces - I agree with Tania.

WhyTheBigGoldPaws Tue 02-Oct-12 21:41:19

I went to the Paralympics and thoroughly enjoyed it - the atmosphere was amazing and London was a different place. It did make me think differently about what it must be like living with a disability although I recognised that most of the athletes bore as much comparison with other disabled people as Jessica Ennis or Mo Farrah do with most able bodied people.

I went to London again a few weeks later and my train was delayed, the reason for which became apparent when a lady in a wheelchair was helped into our carriage. She apologised for holding us up but explained that the staff on the platform had refused to radio to the main office for a ramp as 'it wasn't their job', meaning she had to make her way over there herself. Her comment was 'You can tell the Paralympics are over'.

I have limited knowledge of what it's like to manage when you have a disability but that experience suggested there's a long way to go.

WhyTheBigGoldPaws Tue 02-Oct-12 21:42:25

That should say ...still a long way to go.

DillyTante Sat 06-Oct-12 21:03:40

My worry with the Paralympics is that it is going to raise expectations of disabled people. "Yeah you're in a wheelchair but why aren't you doing a marathon?" with people forgetting that, like able bodied althletes, these people are elite with a wealth of resources supporting them.

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