The big question

Do you agree with the ban preventing athletes wih
learning difficulties competing in the paralympics?

Shaun Webster
CHANGE self-advocacy group

It’s against our human rights. They are discriminating against
people with learning difficulties by separating them from people
with other disabilities. It’s like the organisers don’t want us to
be there. We should be able to join in. Just because you can’t see
my disabilities doesn’t mean I don’t have any.

Karen Shook
Disability equality adviser

The Paralympics “categorise” people so those with similar levels of
impairment compete against each other reasonably equally. This is
difficult with people with learning difficulties and gives greater
opportunity for cheating. Until the categories change perhaps it is
better to hold separate events.

Joan Scott
Director, Action Unlimited

It’s wrong and it’s rubbish to say the exclusion is because people
might cheat and pretend they have a learning difficulty – so could
people who say they have a physical disability pretend they need to
use a wheelchair. And I don’t agree with having another separate
event as that is anti-inclusion.

Becca Cooper
York People First

Just because the Spanish basketball team pretended they had
learning difficulties in the last Paralympics why should everybody
with learning difficulties be excluded? If an athlete takes drugs
only the individual is punished. The other thing that really annoys
me is that the Olympics was on TV all the time but the Paralympics
is hardly on at all.

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