Since the paralympics last year many people have been talking about a paralympic affect on how the public’s perception of disabled people. Many people say it has been positive, some activists has used the question simply to slant the government on the welfare reforms.
I believe it is inappropriate to have expected one international sports event to have radically changed attitudes, especially when that was not the purpose of the event. I think in 2012, many things would have helped the battle to include disabled people, like I’m Spazticus, and many that would have hindered it, like the ATOS protests.
I feel we have a very odd paradox where people with significant impairments feel more included in society as they benefit from a golden age in technology, people with minor impairment feel less included because of their medical model reaction to the welfare reforms and a desire for exclusion.
There was a paralympic affect but what it means is silent and a part of a bigger wave of social change that is improving the lives of disabled people.
If you like what I say, have a look at my website at http://www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74