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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympics opening ceremonies & disability -- good things

Hi Everyone,

We spend a lot of time bemoaning the frequent lack of disability access/respect/consciousness, so I thought I'd note that I found the way the Olympic opening ceremonies last night featured disabled people to be refreshing and positive.  From deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie, to a deaf-hearing children's choir performing the British National Anthem, to people in wheelchairs spinning among the able-bodied dancers, there was lots to like.  This show has a *billion* viewers around the world -- great to see!

Could this participation reflect the disability activism in the UK?  I have to think so; our work makes a real-world difference.

And it wasn't limited to the opening ceremony.  A legally blind South Korean archer set the first Olympics world record!


Christopher Krentz
Associate Professor
Department of English and ASL Program
Director, American Sign Language Program
University of Virginia


  1. This is an excellent point. I praised Danny Boyle for his excellent, subversive opening ceremony celebrating ordinary men and women, but I forgot to mention the clear attempts to be inclusive as well.

    I'd like to think Danny included so many disabled people because of our activism.

    So "Thanks Danny Boyle" For thinking of what so many do not

    Sue Marsh :)

  2. The spectacle doesn't sit well in the light of austerity cuts to benefits bu the UK Government, I am told that public transport for the disabled in London is erratic , I don't mean to be a killjoy but when our welfare state is being dismantled and sold off to sponsors of the government it's very hard to be enthusiastic about the games especially as the paralympians will be used to hound those who are sick eg if they can do it why can't you?