Will the Games be accessible?
I am part of the Disability Community Engagement Team. There are about 20 people in the group. They have different disabilities. Mencap has been part of the group since 2004. I joined this year and I think it is really worthwhile to be involved.
The group makes sure all parts of the Games are inclusive. We go to test events and venues like the Excel Centre to see how accessible they are and say what can be better. We give information about things like Changing Places toilets. We also tell others about what the people organising the Olympics are doing to make the games accessible. That’s why I am writing this blog!
Transport for London (TfL) told us they are putting some short films on their website to help people find out about the support they can get to use public transport. We said it would be good to also have them as pictures so people can print it out and take the information with them on their journey. We also said they could give information about how to use the river services and Park ‘n’ Ride.
They told us about how transport will be more accessible for the games:
- Ramps will be used at Games Time on 48 platforms across 32 stations.
- Piccadilly line will have raised platforms.
- All ticket holders get a zone 1-9 travel pass for the whole day with their ticket.
- People will not have to provide proof of disability to use accessibility transport.
- People on the ground will have to make a decision on who needs to use the transport.
- Staff on the transport system will get training on all accessibility needs.
Sport comes first
Jane Jones from the British Paralympic Association spoke to us. The British Paralymic Association (BPA) wants to give the message 'sport comes first'. The focus is on quality sport, not on the disabilities the athletes have.
Paralympics on TV
Channel 4 will show the Paralympic Games on TV. The BPS has made is a booklet for journalists about how to report on the Paralympics and how to talk about disability. The Paralympics are a good opportunity to change people's views about disability.