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Paralympics: Turn cheers into change this summer

The Paralympics shines a spotlight on disability sport and the lives of disabled people like no other event.

This year, that spotlight is needed more than ever.

That’s why Scope and the ParalympicsGB have teamed up to challenge the nation to turn cheers into change this summer.

Forgotten throughout pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, time and time again disabled people have felt forgotten. Many have told Scope they feel their lives don’t matter to the rest of society, and that they’ve been written off as expendable.

Many of the barriers disabled people faced before the pandemic have been made worse over the past year.

In recent weeks we’ve heard more and more reports about disabled people being shut out of their communities because, as the country unlocks, they have been ignored and forgotten. Pavements have been blocked by al fresco dining tables, and Blue Badge bays closed off.

As we move out of lockdown, we are facing a watershed moment. We must not miss the opportunity to create a more equal and fair society.

That’s what makes this the most important Paralympics ever for disability equality.

Our research

Scope surveyed 1004 disabled people. Our research found:

  • 69 per cent of disabled people think the Paralympics help tackle negative attitudes towards disabled people. 
  • 73 per cent of disabled people think the Paralympics help improve the public’s understanding of disabled people, rising to 82 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds 
  • 69 per cent of disabled people want Paralympics fans to do more to understand the issues disabled people face 
  • 3 in 4 (74 per cent) of disabled people believe public’s perceptions of disabled people have either worsened or not shifted during pandemic  

For two weeks this summer, there’ll be more disabled people on our screens than at any other time of the year. There’ll be more column inches devoted to disabled people and their achievements.

But two weeks every few years is not enough, and the 14 million disabled people in the UK will continue to face barriers in society and negative attitudes.

We know you can’t change attitudes in a fortnight, but we hope this year’s Games will be a catalyst for moving towards an equal society.

Join our movement to become a disability gamechanger, and turn your cheers into change this summer.

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