Disability group challenges Olympics volunteering manual

The UK Disabled People's Council has demanded an apology from Beijing Olympics organisers after they released a manual that warned volunteers that disabled athletes were "unsocial" and "controlling".

The online guide, which is aimed at volunteers who will be helping at the games, also said that people with disabilities had unique personalities and suffered from a strong sense of inferiority. The sections were withdrawn from the English language version yesterday but a Chinese version remained unaltered.

Zhang Quiping, director of the Beijing Paralympic Games, did not apologise, and said the descriptions were due to poor translation.

But Simone Aspis, parliamentary and campaigns worker for the UK Disabled People’s Council, said that Quiping should make a public apology and have the guide re-written with input from disabled people.

We are shocked that disabled people are treated like a race apart, she said. The Olympics are the place to challenge rather than reinforce unfounded stereotypical perceptions of disabled people.

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