Sunday, 2 September 2012

Will the celebration of ability end with London 2012 Paralympics?

We had a truly fantastic day at the Paralympics yesterday; it was as much about the range if spectators, with all our varying abilities, as about the sport.

It was wonderful to move around the Olympic Park with thousands of people some on two legs, some on crutches, some in wheelchairs, some with white sticks and others in mobility scooters. It was so normalising, so freeing, so real.

It was Rachel who hit the nail on the head "why don't we see all these disabled people in normal life?"

So why don't we?
Where is everyone?
We have friends who are deaf, partially sighted, mobility impaired or have learning difficulties; but they are in the minority.

Perhaps this photo gets to the crux of the issue. It's hard to live in a world of the able bodied (I hate that term since I guarantee I'm not able in my body). There are steps that can't be used; doors too narrow; overly complicated signs; obscure information; too much noise and parking spaces which don't exactly exist.

I hope and pray that the joy and all encompassing Paralympics lead to a more integrated and accessible society. Let us say in four years time "how did we ever cope without our mixed ability society; we are so much richer for working together".

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