Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive at disability equality charity Scope said:
"It’s fantastic to see so many organisations across sport, business and human rights coming together to the inequality disabled people face in the UK and round the world.
“This Paralympics must be a catalyst for changing perceptions of disability, but disabled people need to be part of the discussion all year round, not just for two weeks every four years.
“That’s why it’s so important that the WeThe15 campaign is going to run for a decade to deliver the long term change required.
“We’d urge everyone to think about what they can do to make disability equality a reality – whether you’re an employer, a business, or an individual.
“The pandemic over the last 18 months has been incredibly tough, and disabled people have been routinely forgotten. The government’s recent National Disability Strategy was a key opportunity to address the inequality that grew during the pandemic, but fell short. We need long term commitments to make sure life will be significantly different for the next generation of disabled people.”
Scope research carried out earlier this year found:
• 69 per cent of disabled people think the Paralympics can help tackle negative attitudes towards disabled people
• 3 in 4 (72 per cent) of disabled people believe public’s perceptions of disabled people have either worsened or not shifted during pandemic.
• A fifth (17 per cent) of disabled people say perceptions of disabled people have worsened and 55 per cent say they did not shift during the pandemic
• 56 per cent believe disabled people are seen as more vulnerable than they were before the pandemic, fearing it could affect their job prospects, social life and mental health
• One in three (28 per cent) think disabled people are seen more as being a burden
• One in five (21 per cent) believe there is less understanding towards disabled people among the general public since the pandemic began