A Legacy to Stand On?

22/10/2012 16:47 BST | Updated 22/12/2012 10:12 GMT

OK so we have hosed ourselves down, celebrated Jonnie Peacock, Ellie Simmonds and so very many more. But beyond our fading emotions, stirred in a way not one of us ever anticipated, what's left?

For myself, and I guess many others, I do consider disability differently, visible disability for sure. I'm not so sure anything has advanced with regard to the less visibly disabled people amongst us.

I was on my way to get my bike out at work the other day and found myself crossing the road with a man on crutches; he seemed to have a disability in both legs. I deliberately spoke to him, and asked him if he had noticed any change. He told me he had detected some small acknowledgements, he felt slightly less "invisible" he said, but "nothing revolutionary". Then of course I realised I had only spoken to him about disability, not about anything else.

Going round a castle in Spain last week I found myself lifting a Swedish tourist in her wheelchair down a deep step. Yes I think I made more of an effort than I might have done. But it is a pale beginning.

All this week with A legacy to stand on?, Channel 4 News is pursuing the elusive legacy of Paralympic joy.

Watch the video promo on YouTube:

Katie Razzall has been in Belfast looking at the powerful video diary of a man who has suffered severe victimisation due to his disability. This, on the eve of the day, five years ago, that Fiona Pilkington killed herself and her disabled daughter Francesca. They had suffered years of abuse and torment around their home in Leicestershire. There is a report coming out from the Equality and Human Rights Commission that criticises police failings in handling cases of disability hate crime.

For months now we have been tracking the difficulties that disabled people have with travelling in our No Go Britain series of reports. On Tuesday, C4 Paralympics Presenter Sophie Morgan films in Gatwick Airport which claims to be very disability friendly. This as the Muscular Dystrophy Society releases new figures on some of the difficulties disabled passengers have suffered when travelling by plane.

Then what about these fabulous state-of-the-art prosthetics that we saw being used to such effect in the Paralympics? On Wednesday we report the contrasting very limited choice of limbs that are on offer to most disabled people.

On Thursday, Keme Nzerem reports on how some of ParalympicsGB's stars are now anxiously awaiting the outcome of their disability living allowances assessments.

And finally on Friday, we will see Katie Razzall back with reaction to Monday's hate crime report - what does her film and the reaction to it, tell us about attitudes to disability? Undoubtedly, people with disabilities have more opportunity now - many more have personal and professional lives uninhibited by their impairments than ever before. And the Paralympics showed us a high-performance snapshot of the way medicine and technology have changed lives.

Those inspirationally uplifting Games finished just six weeks ago. They cast unprecedented light on a world of which of many of know nothing. The Games awoke us. This week on Channel 4 News we hope you will not only still be awake, but both watching, and listening.

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