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‘Accessibility is our Top Priority,’ Says Paralympic Committee After Denying Basic Accessibility Accommodation

Paralympian Becca Meyers is known for her drive and determination for success. The deaf-blind swimmer has conquered hurdles throughout her life. This perseverance has led her to the biggest stage of all: the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, where she faces the ultimate obstacle, bureaucratic inaccessibility.

Paralympian Becca Meyers is known for her drive and determination for success. The deaf-blind swimmer has conquered hurdles throughout her life. This perseverance has led her to the biggest stage of all: the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, where she faces the ultimate obstacle, bureaucratic inaccessibility.

Meyers was told that she is not permitted to travel to the event with her personal care assistant (PCA) despite the risk this could pose to her health. This denial of an accessibility accommodation means Meyers cannot safely participate in the event and forced her to announce her withdrawal.

“We would have loved for her PCA to attend, because she probably would have bought merch, but this is an extremely small, isolated group,” said a representative of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The USOPC invited 11,000 athletes, 40,000 support staff and 35,000 journalists to attend. The decision regarding Meyers’ PCA was reportedly made due to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Soon after, it sparked a new “no accommodation” policy that bans all mobility aids including wheelchairs. The ban is the latest in a series of questionable accessibility decisions, including a move to classify all prescribed medications as disqualifying performance-enhancing drugs.

“We embrace the empowerment of people with disabilities in the Paralympic games,” said the USOPC after the stunning announcement, “but real athletes don’t need accommodations.”

2 comments

  1. Disabled athletes train all there life just as hard as any able bodied athlete yep once again we don’t matter I have experienced this through my whole sporting career and some peoples attitude towards us will never change speak up and don’t be walked over we can all want to shine at what we do please let us do what we do

  2. Love it. Also, when writing these articles, you should try to link to the instance your poking fun at, that way it can also be informational for the people out of the loop.

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