Paralympics Legacy So How Do We Keep The Good Will Going?

guardian.co.uk Paralympics
guardian.co.uk Paralympics

The London Paralympics have been a great success. Not only Great Britain but the whole World has shown that people with disabilities are not only quite capable of doing sport, but are courageous and talented people in their field. From swimming to running, discus to cycling, each and every one of them showed us that having a disability doesn't have to hold you back from achieving the things you want in life.

I watched in amazement and awe, and realised one thing. I will never moan again about being an Asthmatic or having to take a few tablets a day for a thyroid problem. All these wonderful people put me to shame. I am totally humbled. As I am sure many of us are. So what happens now that the Paralympics have finally come to an incredible end?

Disabled People Treated As Second Class Citizens.

As many people have mentioned, is this feeling of acceptance going to last? Or are we going to forget about it in a few weeks or months? Are disabled people going to be forgotten again, or is there something we can do to keep each and every one of them with various disablilties in the public eye long enough to change our perceptions of them?

Are we at last going to realise that they are intelligent people who sometimes need help around our Cities and Towns? Don't get me wrong, when I say help I am talking about electronic doors, high steps and silly twists and turns that are not necessary. Make it plain, make it simple.

The standard of the Paralympic Sportsmen and Women shows us that with the right equipment, these people can be accepted into every day life just like their so called able bodied counterparts.

Over the years disabled people have, at the least, been treated like second class citizens, and worse, had to suffer abuse and insults. It has got to stop. And I mean now. Just because somebody cannot walk or talk, use their arms or have missing limbs does not mean they are stupid. The fact is they are exactly the same as everybody else. The only difference is that they may need help with certain everyday things.

tradeskills4u.co.uk paralympics
tradeskills4u.co.uk paralympics

We may all be feeling the warmth of London love at the moment, but look deeper. What do you see? Think about how many times we get to see disabled people. Then ask yourself, how many do you see on TV?

Name them. I can feel your brain ticking over trying to come up with even one name. And that's my point.

Why is that?

I think we all know the answer to that question. But why are there not more disabled people on TV? As I said earlier, just because someone cannot walk, doesn't mean to say that they can't act.

How many TV series have a disabled person in them? And here's another thought. How many main characters in a film or series have some sort of disability? Yes you guessed it. Next to none.

While writers of television take care to get each and every character true to the story, they are completely blind sided to the fact that in each and every community there are disabled people. In fact the only TV coverage they get is late at night.


blogs.telegraph.co.uk paralympics
blogs.telegraph.co.uk paralympics

You Want Change? Then Change!

Here's a few ideas that come to mind. Its not rocket science!

  • Films TV and Radio. Disabled people can act. There can be many characters that we can introduce into our Soaps and Drama's. It's common sense. In real life there are thousands of people with disabilities, why not TV?
  • TV News Anchors. Yes I know, TV again, but hear me out. Most of the presenters sit down anyway. I hope you are getting that Light Bulb moment, if not, why not?
  • In the real world give people jobs in the public eye. Why are there no disabled people working in shops? I haven't seen any, have you? Maybe because the doorway is too narrow.
  • Buses, trains and all transport should automatically have ramps to allow wheelchair users to board easily. I know they already use them, but what's wrong with automatic ramps that are attached to the vehicle? One press of a button and it slides down. No more searching the train platform for a ramp. I know, I saw it the other day at the station!
  • This is a no brainer, but make every town or village have a disabled sports centre, or at least a town hall that is accessible for users. Able bodied people go to the gym all the time, why can't disabled people have the same respect given them? If every gym had a room or rooms set aside for disabled people, then they would go. They are normal people too! And while we are on the subject of rooms for disabled people:
  • Schools. Yes its obvious I know, but come on guys, please do not stop disabled sports just because it's a bit more difficult to arrange. Please, common sense will show the way.
  • Sort out those darn pavements! I remember them well when I used to take my mother out in a wheelchair. The amount of times I nearly tipped her out was just beyond belief!
  • Magazines start putting disabled people on the cover of your mags. We are fed up to the back teeth seeing so called 'perfect' celebs and boring people. If I see one more bimbo grinning inanely from the cover of any popular weekly I am going to scream! What's wrong with a photo of a nice looking guy or girl who just happens to have a disability?
  • And last but not least, Put The Disabled First For A Change! What does that mean, I hear you ask? Think about it. Psychologically able bodied people are always at the forefront of everything. Now its disabled people who should take centre stage.

-

The Advert we watched at the beginning of many TV shows including the Olympics and Paralympics was: Change Your Game.

It should be Change Your Attitude.

Disabled people have been ignored for too long. Now its their turn.


copyright Nell Rose (c) 2012

From The Home Of The Paralympics, Buckinghamshire.

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Comments 48 comments

Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Nell, my cousin has taught gymnastics to handicapped kids for years and the stories she has shared with me were truly inspirational. So that said your article is right on and so very beautiful and poignant. I couldn't agree more that we definitely need to keep the legacy and good willing going. I have of course voted up, shared and tweeted too!!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Janine, thanks so much, the parade is on TV at the moment, and its awesome!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Nell, great hub and you make so many interesting points. In this country we have all enjoyed the last two and a half weeks as much as the other Olympics - it's been truly inspiring. I just hope that this momentum keeps going - I am of the opinion that anybody can do anything if they have the determination and support but you're quite right that the 'goodwill' the winning of hearts and minds from this day forward is the way to go.


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

Well Done Nell, I totally agree with everything you have said in this hub. It is time for change and pronto.

I am adding your link to this hub on my hub on the Paralympics.


RolyRetro profile image

RolyRetro 4 years ago from Brentwood, Essex, UK

The Paralympics were truly inspirational. I was lucky enough to visit the stadium, and had tickets for the Swimming finals, which I saw with my family.

Living 20 minutes from the London 2012 park, and travelling through it every day on the way to work in the city, I can say the atmosphere was fantastic, the crowd completely behind every athlete for every event, and it was an experience I will never forget.

Cheers

Roly (British and proud)


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

It all goes back to Felix Guttman's 'tough love' policy when he first went to Stoke Mandeville in the later years of WWII. Did you see the programme? There were several 'faces' amongst the cast, notably Rob Brydon doing a resentful double amputee. Great acting! The final part of the film showed the first Stoke Mandeville 'Olympics' in 1948 at the same time as the Olympics in London. Guttman himself was a victim of the Nazi anti-Jewish policy of denying them their careers. He had a mountain to climb when he came here through prejudice against Germans, whether Jewish or not. Obviously he knew about the phrase 'difficult, not impossible'.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi alan, no I totally missed it, I was gutted I must have been out that night, hopefully it will be repeated though.I have stayed in Stoke Manderville myself years ago, and know the hospital well,, my aunts next door neighbours were in the 48 olympics, well one of them was, he an archer, amazing man, thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Roly, you lucky thing! I wanted to see the swimming! how lovely! yes I am so proud to be English, and British! lol! thanks so much, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Thanks Michael, that's great! I will add yours too if that's okay? glad you liked it, and wasn't the paralympics great?


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Jools, the way they all did those sports was amazing! every time I watched a different event I sat there saying, oh my god, wow! lol! so clever and I felt totally humbled by them, thanks so much for reading, nell


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

Hi Nell,

The Paralympics were fantastic. I was clued to the TV. I have never watched some much sports.

You are more than welcome to link to my hub. The more awareness we can raise and maintain, the better.

Sharing again.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Thanks Michael, I will be over shortly, got a brother visiting! lol! yes I hated sport before this! loathed it in fact, now I can't get enough of it! as well as the paralympics I was screaming at the TV for Mo and Jess! lol! and of course all the others too, wonderful stuff, thanks again, be back shortly.


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

Thanks Nell, have a good visit with your brother.

The Paralympics rocked my world.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

Awesome hub Nell! This message is so important. My father is in a wheelchair and it is amazing the struggles he has. He's still the same person he was when he could walk, he just can't use his legs anymore and deserves a chance to do what he likes to do. Voted up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Nell, This is such a wonderful hub. I have such enormous respect for people with disabilities that can accomplish such such feats. That are certainly to be admired. Awesome hub.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Glimmer, that's it exactly, I think people forget that just because you have to look down to speak to them then they can't answer you! my dad and mum both ended up in a wheelchair, so its very familiar to me too, and yes they should be able to do exactly what they want, thanks so much, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Pamela, thanks so much, they were really awesome! nell


Mama Kim 8 profile image

Mama Kim 8 4 years ago

Some of the strongest people both mentally and physically I've ever met have been disabled people! I don't know how anyone could look down on them. Wonderful hub, voted and shared


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Mama Kim, thanks so much, its been a wonderful paralympics, nell


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

A gentleman in a wheelchair was hired for a host at the Stillwater Olive Garden. He went through orientation, had plans for the first week that the restaurant was open, but was never seen again. Not sure what happened. A few years ago, a physically challenged attorney was on the Wheaties box. A blind man and his dog ride the abled bus in Stillwater, and don't bother with the paratransit. There is no reason for him not to do so, he chooses, and knows right where his stop is. We can also learn from the paralympic athletes on how to do things in a different way. I welcome the learning experience. Great piece, Nell, and may be all be equal in the eyes of our peers.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Nell, I feel exactly like you. I watched the paralympics and was amazed. They all were so happy and worked so hard to achieve their goals. This is not related to this topic, but, I watched Andy Murray win the US Open and thought of you and Molometer. I wanted him to win and he did..Cheers..


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

We watched the girls basketball of this event and it was really interesting. They are true athletes and play just as hard as anyone else. Thanks for the share on this topic and for the support you have given the paralympics.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

They are so amazing, and I know I could never have the stuff they are made of. Amazing is just all I can think because they consider themselves whole and let nothing slow them down. Like you, I feel guilty I have ever whined about anything. Another great hub Nell!^


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an important hub with some great suggestions, Nell. The one advantage we have where I live is that all the buses do have automatic ramps that unwind at the touch of a button to allow wheelchairs and people with movement problems to enter the bus. I'm going to share this hub.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

I like your thinking! Just because some people are limited in one area or another, doesn't mean that they cannot live fruitful lives and contribute to the common good. Up and useful votes and will share.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

Paraplegic people, mostly all of them, I'm sure, are far and away braver and stronger than me. Thanks for a great read, Nell.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Very good and moving appeal Nell. I hope it gets heeded. There is one disabled character in soaps, ("Izzy" in "Coronation Street"). I don't know if the actress is disabled or not though.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Voted up, awesome and all but funny. Wonderful hub Nell. You have expressed your views very well and it is something everyone of us should take note of. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Socially shared and tweeted. A must-read for everyone.

Cheers, Rema.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Nell, you did a great write up on a fabulous event! Well done! Voted up and more.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Terrye, thanks so much, I loved watching the olympics and paralympics, I will feel lost now! lol!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Rema, thanks so much, I am so glad you liked it, and thanks again, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi christopher, I haven't watched corrie for so many years I don't know, but its great to know that, now Eastenders come up to the bar! lol! thanks so much as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Pamela, me too, they amaze me too, so strong. watching the paralympics made me realise just how much we all moan and we shouldn't really, thanks so much nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Peggy, that's it exactly, just look at Stephen Hawking, what an amazing guy, thanks for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Alicia, I am not sure about the buses over here, long time since I used one but the trains have separate ones, hopefully one of these days every shop, every office etc will be easy access for wheelchairs, thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

HI Jackie, and have I whined in the past! lol! not any more unless its necessary! lol! thanks Jackie, glad you liked it.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi teaches, the basketball was great wasn't it? thanks so much for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Ruby, yes Andy Murray! Woohoo! lol! first time in how many years? 75 I think! Wow! thanks Ruby glad you liked it, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi avian, how strange about the wheelchair guy, obviously something was wrong, or maybe he realised that they didn't really want him there? Yes equality is the most important thing in the world, we all live on this tiny planet with millions of miles of Space, why can't people remember that? thanks so much as always, nell


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

You are spot on, Nell, with this very positive point of view concerning those who are disabled. Do you get the TV program, 'Glee,' across the pond? The storyline follows a school glee club and one of the young male singers is disabled in a wheelchair. Seems to be a first for TV sitcoms. Voted this up, m'dear.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi drbj, yes we do get glee over here, mind you I think I have seen it once! lol! actually I do remember seeing him, great for tv, we do have a few on our programs too, but not so much recently, thanks so much for reading, cheers nell


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

With the popularity of the Paralympics, perhaps more of their sporting competitions will be featured on TV. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi alocsin, hopefully that will happen, I just hope it does have a continuing sports agenda or even more people on tv, it will be a shame if it stops at the olympics, thanks so much nell


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A wonderful read Nell and thank you for sharing.

Eddy.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Eddy, thanks so much, nell


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

In a world obsessed with perfection, I am glad that you have provided a fine voice, Nell. Thanks, and I'm socially sharing.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

This is definitely an issue that has been tragically overlooked. In the states the Americans with Disabilities Act has helped the handi-capable have access to facilities but it still is an uphill battle for them to be treated equally.

I only heard about the Paralympics in passing- they really didn't talk much on it compared to the Olympics.

You have done an excellent job enlightening us on the struggles they still face. Great hub!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi midget and Alecia, thanks so much, I just hope that we do keep up the goodwill, otherwise the paralympics will be a just forgotten sport again, nell

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