Post Paralympics – Are Attitudes Changing?

Today I read an article in The Stage where make-up artist Amber Sibley was quoted:

“The Paralympic Opening Ceremony was joyful, working with a less-abled cast and seeing everyone’s inner beauty shine.” full article
Whilst to some this may at first glance seem like a positive comment, to me it encapsulates my disappointment following the attitude after the staging of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

For me the Paralympic Opening Ceremony was one of the most exciting things to happen in 2012. Leading up to the event I knew it was not “a miracle cure” in response to disability awareness but I was sure that using the world stage to showcase the talent of some deaf and disabled performers would create a change in attitude to those in the Arts sector.

I’m not trying to single Sibley out here but, there still seems to be a feeling of “ didn’t they do well despite…”

So the niggling question is why?

Recently I attended a skill sharing and networking event linking to the Arts and disability.When talking about the use of sign language within performance I made reference to the signed performances in the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. To my surprise and horror less than half of the participants had watched it and one or two even gave me a look as if to say “big deal, why was it so important?”

*Lies down*

So is this what actually happened? Did the nation let this monumental event pass them by with a vague acknowledgement of “disabled people performing, oh how lovely, good for them”.

Well it wasn’t lovely, it was blooming fantastic with a bit of “oi oi!” thrown in for good measure! Who cares about “inner beauty” shining. If people could have engaged with the spectacle for what it really was we’d all appreciate the talent and the exciting creative opportunities out there.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mel on November 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Have you seen the music video for ‘you need me i don’t need you’ by ed sheeran! A big mainstream appearance for sign song!


    • Yes I have. It has been criticised for the lack of lip pattern and if you were relying on the signs to get meaning I’m not sure you’d have much success. I do agree it is good exposure though.

      Have you seen the one signed by Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman?


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