October 29 - A total of 81 per cent of British adults say the London 2012 Paralympics have had a positive impact on the way disabled people are viewed by the public, according to a survey conducted by Charity United Response.
The survey – titled "Did the Paralympics affect public perceptions of disability?" – shows that 80 per cent of people enjoyed seeing disabled presenters on screen as part of Channel 4's record-breaking coverage of the event, while 85 per cent said the outstanding performances of the British athletes made them figures that people aspired to.
In addition, 50 per cent of people said they found Paralympic athletes more inspirational than their Olympic counterparts.
It comes as 40 British Paralympic athletes won gold in 34 events at London 2012, with a total of 4,269 competitors at the Games from 164 countries.
In addition, 2.7 million tickets were sold for the London 2012 Paralympics, a record for the Games.
But despite their huge success, the survey suggests there is still a significant amount of work to be done to ensure true equality for disabled people in the United Kingdom.
"The recent British Social Attitudes Report 29 shows there are still some worrying underlying trends facing people with disabilities," it says.
"Extra spending on benefits for disabled people who cannot work has fallen by 21 per cent since 1998 and by 10 per cent in the last three years.
"It is crucial that everyone working in the disability sector does more to explain the reality of disability to the public so that all disabled people are given a fair deal in the future, and the chance to succeed in the way the Paralympians showed the can."
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