Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Olympic Disability Discrimination

My blood is boiling! From being excited about having Olympic tickets finally, I’m now livid at the discrimination London 2012 are showing to people who are disabled, but do not require a wheelchair.

Thankfully, in a previous post about Olympic tickets I linked to the disability information, which has been updated since the original post. There is a link to book blue badge parking, as well as the form to apply for a free carer or companion ticket. Ticket being the important word and not tickets! You are only allowed to apply for one extra ticket per application despite the fact that both my brother and I are visually impaired. The discrimination occurs, as wheelchair users were able to specify how many wheelchair spaces they required and so would have got a free ticket per space. Other disabilities were only able to advise of their additional needs, which assumed you could only have one disability, for example, you couldn’t select both visually impaired and hearing impaired!

I called London 2012 directly to see what could be done, but was told the same information. They have advised me to call back on 8 July when my payment has been confirmed. I intend to write an email of complaint, so my concerns are in writing. So was I expected to make two applications? Were my family not expected to sit together? Are groups of disabled people not allowed to attend the games together? Why wasn’t this information made clear before?

People wishing to apply for a free carer or companion ticket have until 31 July to do so and will be informed by 31 August whether or not their application has been successful. If unsuccessful, applicants have the opportunity to request a refund by 30 September or just keep the tickets they have.

The Ticket Care Scheme claims it is ‘inclusive and accessible’!


Niamh Anne King said...

that is absolutely shocking. they clearly haven't taken into consideration that more than only disabled person could apply on one application, and I agree are discriminating against other disabilities than those in wheelchair. this is something that should have been specified from the get go. I'd be very sad if it ruined your opportunity to go to the games in any way.

The Necromancer said...

I absolutely echo your sentiments. I am disabled but, not in a wheelchair. I quickly discovered that I would be unable to access any of the events due to there being no disabled parking facilities close to venues. I, like so many others, am unable to use public transport or many taxis and can only walk short distances so, it's no use driving to a parking space if it's a quarter mile from the venues. This applies to much of London, not just Oly,pic venues, but Boris Jonsson & Co have done nothing to alleviate this despite all the efforts they made to build massive venues from scratch. And what a kick in the teeth for disabled drivers to find they can't use Olmpic bus lanes yet those able-bodied olympians can. Why don't all towns and cities open up bus and taxi lanes to those who need them most; the disabled?
What is also annoying is that tonight there is a four-hour olympic closing ceremony. WHY? The olympics are not yet over; there is the paralympics to come - isn't it all supposed to be one event. Further proof of the institutional discrimination against the disabled.
I have a dream; one day we will all be equal, regardless of creed, colour, faith, sex, age or ability. Only then can the nations of this wonderful planet be called civillised.