Charity Scope has hailed the Paralympic Games for changing attitudes towards disabled people.
The Games, which ended in London yesterday, left a legacy that must be built on, said Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of Scope.
“We hoped the Games would have an impact beyond sporting success, and improve attitudes to disabled people,” he said.
“Some 84% of disabled people told us that greater public discussion of their lives would improve attitudes.
“For the last week-and-a-half disabled people have been everywhere.
The focus is rightly on the sport, but disability has never been so consistently, openly and widely talked about.
"Attitudes don’t change overnight but this could be the start.
“The legacy of the games should be a Britain where we focus on what disabled people can – rather than can’t – do and where we have the support in place so that disabled people can achieve their aspirations – whether that’s taking part in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio or simply being able to go to the pub with friends to watch the games.”
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said the Games had a "seismic"
effect in public attitudes.
"I don't think people will ever see sport the same way again, I don't think they will ever see disability in the same way again,” he said.
Mr Hawkes said Esther McVey, who was appointed minister for disabled people in last week’s government reshuffle, “must grasp this opportunity and ensure the reality of disabled people's lives is placed firmly at the heart of policy making”.
“We need to ask what else we can do so that disabled people are visible not just in sport, but in the media, in politics, in the arts and above all in everyday life,” he added.