As we witness the Paralympics coming back to their birthplace, celebrating excellence in sport and ambition, we need to pay attention to the disability movement in the UK. The Paralympics, besides providing more sporting action, have also opened up debate on disability rights and attitudes towards disabled people. Here we bring you a selection of articles on the Paralympics debate.
The spectacular opening ceremony that marked the launch of the Paralympics was watched by millions last night. The London 2012 Paralympic Games are the grandest since their inception at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948. The Paralympics are not devoid of debate and controversy – as an exclusive sporting event for disabled athletes, the Paralympics truly champion the spirit of diversity and this year, as they return to their birthplace, the Games have been raising a number of issues relating to attitudes towards and provisions for disabled people. Here are a few interesting articles we came across:
Farewell Olympics, welcome Paralympics: Diversity in Sport, by Andrea Bundon
On the origin and history of the Paralympics and the challenges the Games face today.
Paralympic Paradox, by Dr Victoria Beechey
On the danger that celebrating the achievements of elite disabled athletes might reinforce the view that all disabled people can, with willpower, get out, work and achieve.
Will the Paralympics stop you staring at me? by Paul Carter
On the hope that the Paralympics will normalise life for disabled people who are being hit hard by and facing hostility under welfare reforms.
Paralympics tries to shake off image as Games for rich countries, by Peter Walker
On how the emergence of disabled athletes in many countries is hampered by the high cost of equipment and prejudice.
On the portrayal of disabled people as ‘scroungers’ and the government policies that have stripped people of their security and independence and angered disability activists.
Did you come across any other interesting articles on the Paralympics? Let us know in comments below.