Britain ‘must build on Paralympics momentum’

December 14th, 2012 Category: Building Management

Britain has been urged to make the most of the positive feelings the public has towards those with disabilities following the Paralympics.

According to Richard Hawkes, chief executive of charity group Scope, this is a particularly difficult time in which to be a disabled person.

Speaking to BBC News, he said this is because many find it hard to get out and about in their community, while some struggle to get suitable support and find employment.

However, he stated that there has been a noticeable improvement in sentiment towards disabled people following the Paralympic Games in London, which saw Britons marvel at the exploits of stars such as Ellie Simmonds.

Mr Hawkes has therefore called on people across the country to build on this momentum and think about what steps could be taken to improve the lives of those in the UK with disabilities.

"It's about visibility and greater discussion," he commented.

"Let's ask what else we can do to increase disabled people's visibility in the media, in politics, in the arts, and above all in everyday life."

Mr Hawkes said attitudes towards disabilities are especially important, as these "underpin" every decision that is made.

For instance, he noted that investing in disabled access depends partly on a new way of thinking, as well as being prepared to spend money.

Businesses looking to demonstrate their desire to support disabled Britons might therefore find it a good idea to bring in facilities management specialists to see what upgrades they can make to their premises so it can be made more accessible to people such as wheelchair users.

This can be a practical step to support a large proportion of the population, as well as a move that may be financially lucrative if it generates more custom for your firm.

And of course, focusing on improving disabled access will be good for a company's reputation, as it will show they do not discriminate against any section of society and are an inclusive, open-minded firm.