1. ITV Report

Paralympian tries to change Haitian view of disability

Leon Gaysil. Photo: Haiti Hospital Appeal

We often talk about London 2012 inspiring a generation. But Leon Gaysil is trying to change the attitude towards disability of a nation.

In the brutal Haitian poverty, disability has no value. The disabled are often marginalised from society.

Three years ago, Leon Gaysil lost everything in the Haitian earthquake. His eight children, his wife and was left partially paralysed, affecting the use of his legs.

Leon's disability used to make him an outsider in his village. Now after competing in London he has become a local hero.

This summer, Paralympic history was made. Leon became the first competitor from Haiti to cycle for his country.

One of the team who got him there is a Londoner. Carwyn Hill runs the Haiti Hospital Appeal charity.

Leon now works as a coach in a new Inclusive Sports Centre, training the disabled to rebuild their lives through sport.

Sadly, few Haitians in the north of the country watched the Paralympics and discrimination towards the disabled continues in many parts of the country.

But Leon has his own legacy. There's a long way to go before discrimination towards the disabled ends, but he has already inspired many by being one of the first Haitian to compete in a Paralympics.

Caryn Hill of the Haiti Hospital Appeal spoke to Rags Martel in this report.

All Haiti material supplied free of charge and cleared for use by Carwyn Hill/Haiti Hospital Appeal.