London Paralympics 'failed to change attitudes towards disability'

Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/PA Images

Over a quarter of disabled people feel attitudes towards them have not improved following the London Paralympics, according to research.

A survey by the charity Scope found that 28% of disabled people said that the games in 2012 had not delivered a "positive legacy for disabled people", while 38% said attitudes had not improved towards them since the Games.

Three-quarters of the 1,000 disabled adults who took part in the survey said they had not seen improvements in the way members of the public talk to them.

One in six said they had been spoken to in a patronising way since London 2012, with the figure rising to a third (33%) for disabled people aged 18 to 34.

The charity's chief executive Mark Atkinson said the findings were "incredibly disappointing" following the "tremendous success" of the London Paralympics.

"We knew that you don't change attitudes in a fortnight, and a lasting legacy was going to be harder to achieve, but now disabled people are telling us that public attitudes and awareness haven't changed - and in some cases have got worse," he said.

"The Government needs address the issues that matter most and commit to a cross-government approach to disability. We need action on employment, financial security and social care support for disabled people."

British wheelchair tennis player Jordanne Whiley, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympics, said: "The negative attitudes disabled people face, the extra costs to live an independent life - all issues that need to be addressed here and now.

British wheelchair tennis player Jordanne Whiley won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympics. Credit: PA

"The success of the games was unprecedented, but it's now all of our responsibility to make sure we keep up the legacy it created and make sure disabled people have a voice all of the time, not once every four years."