A personal view from Mark Ware on the Paralympic legacy: / 2 September 2012
It was interesting to watch the openings to the Olympics and the Paralympics. The Olympics opening appeared to be about primarily England and nationalism, whereas the Paralympics was a positive statement about humanity and what we all share.
Disability is suddenly in fashion again. An able-bodied friend said to me after the Paralympics opening ceremony: “It makes disability look cool, doesn’t it?”
I had mixed feelings about this statement. Yes, it was great to hear that disability is ‘cool’. But will the Paralympic legacy result in the general public and politicians describing people with disabilities as ‘cool’ next year when Disability Living Allowance is cut back? The process of applying for DLA is traumatic enough at the moment. The stress being caused by worries about cutbacks can only be described as cruel.
Politicians are supporting the Paralympics and so is the Media. They are using the Paralympics too. Let’s hope that they continue to support disability going forward, post games. Let’s hope that they understand the obligation to protect and support humanity and what we all share.