* Plan welcomed by International Paralympic Committee
* Sport England announces £3.5m of investment in sport for disabled people
The first ever Olympic and Paralympic legacy plan to bring about lasting changes to the life experiences of disabled people has been published today by the Government.
Endorsed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), London 2012: A Legacy for Disabled People, aims to improve the lives of 10 million disabled people in the UK by increasing participation in sport and physical activity; improving business, transport and employment opportunities; and changing attitudes and perceptions of disabled people in society.
Sport England has given sport for disabled people a further boost by announcing that it is investing £1.5 million of Exchequer funding in the English Federation of Disability Sport to help them deliver a new strategy to increase participation and opportunities for disabled people.
They have also announced that they will be making £2 million of targeted National Lottery funding available, by application, to nine disability sports organisations including: British Blind Sport, Mencap Sport, Wheelpower and the Special Olympics.
A further £8 million of National Lottery funding has also been ring-fenced by Sport England for investment in sport for disabled people over the next two years.
Other initiatives included in the legacy plan are:
* the development of a National Equality Framework so that businesses can assess their equality performance and improve their working conditions for disabled employees;
* specialist events targeted at diverse businesses, including those owned by disabled people, encouraging them to register on ‘CompeteFor’ so that they can apply for contracts opportunities from the Games. So far 1,327 businesses owned by disabled people have registered on CompeteFor;
* a government campaign to encourage businesses to improve accessibility for disabled customers;
* work with the Accessible Tourism Stakeholder Forum to improve access to tourism services and provide businesses with training to help improve facilities, accessibility and information for disabled people;
* better access and information across the London transport system to enable disabled people to travel confidently and independently and further the development of London 2012’s transport legacy; and
* work with Channel 4, the official London 2012 Paralympic Games broadcaster, to ensure coverage is appropriate, accessible and extends beyond Games time. Over 150 hours of coverage will be delivered including documentaries following athletes and their journey to the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Subtitling and audio description will form part of the programming to ensure the widest possible audience can enjoy the Games.
London 2012 and Arts Council England have also officially announced today that £400,000 of funding has been awarded to ten commissions by disabled artists as part of the Unlimited programme. The scheme which celebrates the arts, culture and sport by disabled and deaf people aims to help transform the disability arts movement in the UK and celebrate the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Olympics and Paralympics, said:
“We want the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to showcase a Britain without barriers. By working to increase sports participation, improve employment opportunities amongst disabled people and develop a greater appreciation of disability issues in society, our legacy plan for disabled people aims to make a real difference to the way disabled people live their lives every day.
“The backing of the International Paralympic Committee is recognition of the scale of our ambition and our determination to ensure the benefits of London 2012 live long beyond the Games. With this strategy we have developed a blueprint for other host nations looking to deliver a lasting legacy for disabled people from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People, said:
"It is vital that disabled people benefit from the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented by the Games. It's the opportunity to make a real and lasting change, to showcase disabled people’s talents, not just in the sporting field but through employment, through positive role models and through the 2012 disability arts programme. Such a legacy will live past 2012 and take us towards our vision of disability equality by 2025."
Xavier Gonzalez, CEO of the International Paralympic Committee, said:
“The ‘Disability Legacy Plan’ of the UK Government is the perfect fit for the IPC’s strategy in the field, and we are extremely happy to see this plan. With such a plan, the Paralympic Games can become the ‘springboard’ to push the agenda forward. It is also great to see that the plan is targeting really long term, far beyond the London 2012 Games.”
Gerry Sutcliffe, Minister for Sport, said:
“We want to use the Games in 2012 to inspire people across the UK to get more active. We want more opportunities for disabled people to play sport and this targeted investment over the next two years will help do just that.”
Ian Lucas, Business Minister, said:
“I am asking all businesses, especially small businesses, to engage better with the 20 per cent of disabled customers, not just because it is the fair thing to do but because if they do not they will lose customers and money - something no one can afford to do in this economic climate.”
Research published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, (DCMS) and the Office for Disability Issues, (ODI), in December showed that 90 per cent of disabled people felt that it is important the Games yield long-term benefits for disabled people. Of the 665 disabled people questioned, nine out of 10 believed that it is important that spin-off benefits for them from 2012 should be:
* more access to sport and physical activity;
* good access to Games-time facilities; and
* initiatives to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people.
Notes to Editors
1. Copies of London 2012: A Legacy for Disabled People can be obtained from the DCMS websitewww.culture.gov.uk/
2. £2m of National Lottery investment is available for applications from EFDS and its eight member organisations:
* British Amputee and Les Autre Sports Association
* British Blind Sport
* CP Sport
* Mencap Sport
* UK Deaf Sport
* Dwarf Athletic Association
* Special Olympics
3. More details on the winning Unlimited commissions, and how deaf and disabled artists can apply for the second round of commissions, can be found at www.london2012.com/unlimited.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department