Adapted Car Hire News Updates: Paralympic organisers defend controversial sponsor
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has defended the sponsorship of the games by Atos Healthcare, the company carrying out controversial “work capability” tests on thousands of disabled people in the UK, according to a report by the Guardian.
Atos has come in for much criticism over the £100m contract, for having a “flawed approach” that has found some severely disabled claimants supposedly fit for work.
The company has caused such controversy that GPs are voting next week on a motion calling on the government to scrap the tests.
The motion argues that the computer-based assessments are “inadequate”, with “little regard to the nature or complexity of the needs of long-term sick and disabled persons”. GPs are calling for them to end “with immediate effect” and be replaced with a “rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm” to disabled people.
Tom Greatrex, Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, called it a “cruel irony” that Atos should be chosen as a Paralympic sponsor after causing distress to so many disabled people, and now disabled activists are calling for the games to be boycotted.
However Sir Phillip Craven, president of the IPC called Atos a “top sponsor”, while the British Paralympic Association (BPA) issued this statement: “Our role as the BPA is to concentrate on promoting British Paralympians as positive role models rather than to comment on wider, non-sport related disability issues.”
In related news, the IPC has confirmed this year’s Paralympic games will be the biggest ever, with around 4,200 competitors coming from 165 different countries.
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