I was appalled to read about Jade Jones’ experience at a Rihanna concert, where the British Paralympian was asked to leave the Old Trafford cricket ground venue early, as her wheelchair presented a health and safety risk.
This is disability discrimination, plain and simple and I cannot condemn it enough.
The British Polio Fellowship campaigns tirelessly on this issue, as venues must be accessible for all. Given this venue works with Level Playing Field, the advisory organisation for disabled sports fans, we would have expected better. Disabled spectators pay the same price and should not have to leave early whilst others are allowed to enjoy the complete event.
British Polio Fellowship wheelchair users can identify with Jade’s story. Many of the 120,000 people in the UK living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) use a wheelchair and poor accessibility and discrimination are reported far too often.
The world has not moved on as much as we like to think so we are supporting Purple Hound, a disability champion campaigning for greater accessibility. Sadly Jade’s experience is not an isolated incident and charities cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to action on access for all.
Ted Hill MBE
CEO, The British Polio
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