This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Crap access at the 2012 Paralympics / 24 August 2012

Crippen's inflatable carers idea

Crippen's cartoon about inflatable carers

Zoom in to this image and read text description

I've had several messages concerning limited access  to the forthcoming Paralympics. For the most part it's been about poor information provision but other issues are now coming to light, one of which seems to involve a strange interpretation of PA support.

A disabled mum of two, along with her husband decided that they would like to go to the Paralympics. Well, here's her story ...

"The London 2012 Olympic Games were brilliant. My family - particularly my two children - loved it. I decided I wanted to take them to the Paralympic Games to sample the once in a lifetime showcase of disabled sport in London. 

"I'm a wheelchair user, with a four-year-old autistic son and a nineteen-month-old daughter. Naturally we wanted to sit together and, particularly as it’s the Paralympics, I assumed there would be adequate provision to allow for this.  

"So I was stunned to hear that there was no way that this could happen as there is a policy that wheelchair users can only be accompanied by one other person, meaning that either my children or my husband have to sit far away from me.  

"I cannot believe that this event, designed to inspire a new generation of athletes, has a discriminatory ticketing policy. It's essential that my husband sits with me as he helps me with things I need to do and clearly my kids can't sit separately.  

"Aside from these practical considerations, I want to share this special occasion with my family, but I'm being prevented from doing so just because I use a wheelchair.

"Please join my campaign to get the organisers of the Paralympics to change this ticketing policy for these and future Games - so every family can share the Paralympics together. Thank you, Beth."


Beth has started a petition on calling on London 2012 to review this policy. Please click here to join her.


Further discrimination

A further development has come to light regarding additional discrimination against disabled people who wish to attend the Paralympics. Click here to access the article.


Keywords: 2012 olympics,access issues,cartoons,crippen,disability,disabled parents,disabled peoples movement,disabled peoples protest,disabled women,paralympics,relating to wheelchairs,wheelchair users


liz Porter

27 August 2012

Urm, sadly doesn't surprise me to read about Beth and Kristina's experience.I shall sign the campaign, unfortunately, it's a bigger problem across impairment group's I'm visually impaired and even trying to find out about access for VI's ticketing info details about possibilities of companions for VIS's and Audio description were hidden... a time consuming nightmare. They needed to have a much bigger access telephone line and bigger more well trained dedicated team of access advisers on hand via phone or email. I don't know how many phone calls I had to make before I got through to a human being, and then they didn't know the answers to all I needed to query.

I am actually going with my sighted daughter and one of her friends who I guess will end up being my access support which isn't ideal or fair on them - but it wasn't clear that VI's could take a companion and because of the way the ticketing process online was designed there was little space to add in companion details.... we should be able to sit together in a group if we want to.

Let's see what transpires next week. But agree wholeheartedly with Beth families and friends should be able to sit together and the ticketing process needed to be thought through with more consideration.


26 August 2012

Have just added another link to this blog which takes you to a BBC article about further discrimination against disabled people who wish to attend the Paralympics!

Kristina Veasey

25 August 2012

I signed Beth's petition too. Taking my family and we have encountered the same prob. Me, a wheelchair user (and incidentally a Paralympian), my partner, and our 3 kids - the youngest is 4yrs old. So who sits where?

Along with that there are not enough wheelchair spaces full stop. if you are non-disabled you are far more likely to get a ticket, lots of wheelchair users have been turned down. Utterly ridiculous, and yes it's a fire hazard thing again! When will they realise access is not an add-on. This is all new-build, so access should have been in the design stage. Makes me so cross.


25 August 2012

Hmmm ... certainly sounds like the sort of language that 'the church' are still using Gini!


24 August 2012

Yesterday I overheard this comment about the Paralympics and access: "they are making large areas of beach accessible for the disabled and handicapped - the Church is doing it." ??? Charity?

Dave Lupton

24 August 2012

Oops - the link to Beth's petition has corrupted. I'm on it guys and will have it up asap