Attitudes toward people with a disability in Great Britain are improving and could be one of the legacies of the London 2012 Paralympics, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) were told this week at a three day project review with the London Organizing Committee.
At the seventh Project Review (20-22 September), a nine strong contingent from the IPC was updated on various areas of work for the London 2012 Paralympics including research findings that show four in 10 people believe the Paralympic Games will bring a lasting breakthrough about the way people with a disability are viewed in the UK.
The IPC was also informed that nearly 600,000 people have registered their interest in buying Paralympic Games tickets, whilst there has been strong interest in volunteering for the Games which take place from 29 August until 9 September 2012.
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC's Chief Executive Officer, said: "With less than two years to go until the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games it is really encouraging to learn that more people are taking an interest in the Games and that attitudes towards people with a disability are changing. This has the potential to be one of the real legacies of the Games in London.
"The comprehensive activity that the London Organizing Committee implemented to mark the two years to go mark last month clearly played a key role in shifting those attitudes as has the partnerships they have established with Channel 4, Sainsbury's and BT.
"The key now is to build on this momentum and ensure that the activity for the Paralympics going forward is differentiated from that of the Olympics so that people understand the values of the Paralympic Movement and the exciting sports they can see in 2012."
Other topics which the IPC was updated on at the Project Review included Operational Integration, Broadcast, Transport, Technology, Volunteering, Brand and Marketing, Communications and Commercial.
The IPC group also received a tour of the various venues that will be used to stage the 2012 Paralympics and the Paralympic Village.
Gonzalez added: "Overall, planning is very much on track for delivering a highly successful Paralympic Games in 2012 and credit must be given to the London Organizing Committee for their hard work.
"During our three days in London we shared a number of ideas and gave some constructive feedback to the updates we were given.
"There is still much to be done between now and 29 August 2012 when the Paralympic Games start and we will continue to work closely with all those involved to ensure that London delivers the best possible Games."
Whilst in London, Xavier Gonzalez also met Justin King, the Chief Executive of Sainsbury's, to discuss how Sainsbury's 850 plus stores will be used to promote the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Following the Project Review, the IPC hosted a transition planning workshop on Thursday (23 September) for 100 members of the London Organizing Committee. It will aim to increase awareness and knowledge on the period between the conclusion of the Olympic Games on 12 August and the start of the Paralympics on 29 August 2012.