Beijing Olympics guide on Paralympians -
DISABLED people can be unsocial, stubborn, controlling, and defensive according to an official Beijing Olympics guide.
The Olympic manual for volunteers in Beijing is peppered with patronising comments, noting for example that physically disabled people are "often" mentally healthy. Volunteers at the Olympics and Paralympics are instructed not to call Paralympians or disabled spectators "crippled" or "lame", even if they are "just joking".
(read the rest at Heraldsun.com.au)
The article then comments that "the document, which indicates the Chinese hosts could use a swift education in political correctness," because it "says the optically disabled "seldom show strong emotions".I am not sure that it is a matter of political correctness since the guide/manual is directed at the Chinese volunteers and not the general public. I think it showed that the journalist does not seem to realise that disabled Chinese do not have a great standing in the community and they are often hidden away by their families and thought of as a source of embarrassment. The fact that
Volunteers are instructed never to "stare at their disfigurement".
"A patronising or condescending attitude will be easily sensed by them, even for a brain damaged patient (though he cannot control his limbs, he is able to see and understand like other people).
"Like most, he can read your body language," says the 2008 volunteer guide.
"Show respect when you talk with them.
"Do not use cripple or lame, even if you are just joking.
"Though life has handed many difficulties to them, disabled people are often independent and self-reliant.
"Volunteers should offer assistance on a basis of equality and mutual respect...
"Disabled people can be defensive and have a strong sense of inferiority."
this shows that the Chinese are paying attention to disability awareness to help the volunteers how to understand the athletes - to avoid incidents such as this:
China's treatment of the disabled has in the past angered swimming great Dawn Fraser, who cited it as one reason she won't be going to Beijing.
She said in April she had seen disabled athletes spat on in the streets in Beijing during university games in the mid-1990s.
I know I was apprehensive the first time I went to China myself about the sort of treatment I might receive myself as a wheelchair user but I was pleasantly surprised - because I was not overly stared at - even in Xinjiang - but was generally left alone and was given the same treatment as my non disabled friends.