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BBC World Service examine changes in attitudes to disability since last Paralympics

On the day of the start of London Paralympic Games, 29 August, BBC World Service will mount forums for audiences to discuss changes to attitudes to disabilities in their countries since the last Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Individuals, as well as various groups and associations, will be able to connect via the websites of services such as BBC Africa (English), BBC Afrique (French), BBC Brasil, BBC Hausa, BBC Mundo and BBC Russian, using special forum pages on these language services websites or Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The forum will be a high point of the special content which will be running across the BBC World Service output, on radio, TV and online, from Monday 20 August, bringing audiences the stories of how people who have disabilities achieve success in their chosen activities and occupations, and the challenges they face.

The content will be available in Bengali, Burmese, Chinese, French, Hindi, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi, Kiswahili, Nepalese, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Sinhala, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. The project has been conceived and led by BBC Russian.

Sarah Gibson, BBC World Service Europe Hub Editor, comments: “We wanted to explore attitudes to disability in Russia, against the backdrop of the Paralympic Games, and putting it into a global context which is something we try to do for our Russian-speaking audiences. The idea quickly grew into a pan-World Service project, with other language services bringing their stories of disability in their countries.”

Head of Languages, BBC World Service, Liliane Landor, adds: “BBC World Service is using its multilingual journalism and the expertise of its teams around the world to set the social and cultural stage for the London Paralympic Games. Each language service participating in this project will offer content that will help add new dimensions to the themes of perceptions, attitudes, success, and talent.”