Adapted Vehicle Hire News Updates: Paralympic Games have the power to change attitudes to disabled people
As the 13th Paralympic Games gets underway in London, a survey by disability campaigning charity Scope suggests almost half of disabled people feel attitudes towards them have become noticeably worse over the past year.
Government plans to cut welfare benefits and media coverage focusing on “benefit scoungers” have been cited as reasons for the worsening attitudes.
The results of the survey also suggest “hate crime”, including verbal and physical abuse, has increased and that there is a general sense while people struggle in the current economic situation, empathy with disability is declining.
Baroness Grey-Thompson, 11-time wheelchair racing gold medallist, believes the Paralympic Games will go some way in helping to resolve these issues.
“If there is one thing the Paralympics can do it is opening people’s minds to think ‘actually hang on, we used to have this dreadful view of disabled people; they’re workshy; they’re benefits scroungers, but now we’re a little bit more open’,” she told the BBC.
The majority of respondents to the Scope survey also had an optimistic view of the Games – three quarters believe a greater presence of disability in day-to-day life will make a difference and 62 percent say the Games have the power to change how the public treats disabled people.
Commenting on the findings, Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of Scope, said:
“The Paralympic Games are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the way society views disability. But for the Games to have an impact the general public has to engage.”
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