Legacy runs through the heart of London 2012, and we want the Paralympic Games to leave behind a strong legacy for disabled people. This includes physical improvements to the transport system to help them travel more freely, and more opportunities for disabled people to play sport.
- Transport: 66 underground stations are now step-free, up from 48 four years ago, and all 8,500 buses are now low floor accessible. £400m has been invested over the next three years to install more lifts, ramps and bridges at 150 train stations.
- Elite Sport: More public money is going into elite Paralympic sport than ever before – nearly £50m in the run up to these Games, compared to Sydney (£10m), Athens (£15m) and Beijing (£30m). These elite athletes will provide inspiration for others to get involved in sport regardless of their disability and help persuade those who run sport to give disability sport a greater priority.
- Grassroots Sport: Sport governing bodies now have to raise participation amongst disabled people as a condition of funding they receive from Sport England. Sport England is investing £8m this year to develop more grassroots projects to help get disabled people into sport, funding disability bodies like British Blind Sport and Cerebral Palsy Sport. As part of the School Games, children at participating schools (13,000, half of the country) will learn about and play Paralympic sport.
- World Class events: Britain will host the IPC European Swimming Championships (Glasgow, 2015), and both the Rowing World Cup (Eton Dorney, 2013) and the Triathlon World Championships (Hyde Park, 2013) are likely to be integrated events featuring Paralympic athletes. The UK is also bidding for the Wheelchair Tennis Singles Masters (Eton Manor, 2014-16) and the IPC World Athletics Championships (Birmingham, 2017).
- Health legacy: £30m is being invested to create the UK’s first ever National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, a centre of excellence to boost performance levels of elite and aspiring elite Paralympic athletes and improve the health of those suffering from long term illnesses (including disabled people) through sport and exercise. Based in three regional centres (Loughborough, Sheffield and London), it will help more people to be more active, treat injuries caused by exercise and conditions associated with lack of exercise.
- Opportunities for disabled people: Disabled groups like deafPLUS, Disabled Motoring UK and the Level Playing Field (formerly National Association for Disabled Supporters) helped to design the Park and 3,500 of the 70,000 Games Makers working on the Olympics and Paralympics are disabled. The Liberty Festival taking place across London (1-2 Sep) celebrates the best deaf and disabled artists and performers from around the world.
- International Inspiration, overseas legacy programme: Launched in 2007, International Inspiration, the international legacy programme for London 2012, has reached more than 12 million people in 20 countries around the world, using sport to make a difference to communities. A number of projects are focused on reaching out to disabled children, displaced children and children living in institutions.