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October 5, 2021 44 mins

This episode features Michael Johnson, Clare Balding, Andrew Parsons, Bebe Vio, Sarah Hirshland, Justin King and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 volunteer, Shigeru Kudo. After such bleak times and such uncertainty we reflect on what hosting the Tokyo Games has achieved. We will explore what is in store for the Paralympic Movement across the next decade and what this can help achieve for the wider 15% of disabled people.


Following the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing in early 2022, the Games head to Paris in 2024, Milano Cortina in 2026 and LA in 2028. Will host cities like Paris become better places for disabled people to live in as a result of hosting the Games? Will holding the Games in LA lead to better representation for disabled talent in Hollywood? Will the Paralympic Games help to change attitudes towards disability? 


To wrap up the series, Sophie Morgan and Sinéad Burke reflect on what they have learned through the making of this podcast and what this can mean for the future.


Hosted by Sophie Morgan and executive produced by Sophie Morgan and Sinéad Burke, Equal Too has been created by Harder Than You Think, the award winning team behind Emmy award winning Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, and P&G Studios. The podcast aims to continue the conversation that the documentary started.

 

Equal Too: Achieving Disability Equality is a new special six-part series, featured on Seneca's Conversations on Power and Purpose series, that explores the biggest challenges faced by the disabled community and starts a conversation about what is needed to drive equality.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
There's a young boy wanting to obstacles cut up from
our surgery, prosthetic picts burgery telling me I'm normal, but normal.
They never really make see they are always paying, discriminated
but levitated to all. So are we true disability is
the forgotten diversity, the one ever needs our speeches. Disability
gets relegated about. We can make a difference, We can

(00:23):
support the one point to be in personal with disability.
Let's say in a different way. Each individual has a
voice in our world today that didn't used to be there.
Galvanizing those voices in support of the Paralympic movement is
I think what the story of is going to be
about now. You need to build the extra mile and
include fifteen percent of your population that is not put

(00:45):
including since twelve, I think the Paralympics, says made a
huge shift in a positive direction in the consciousness of
the public and sports uh media as well as sports fans.
But you know it, stall if there is a continued progress,

(01:17):
how be yeah M. In the first five episodes of
this podcast series, we've learned a lot about the world
in which we live and how much work there is

(01:37):
to do to achieve true equality. For the disabled community.
We have learned about the change that the Paralympics has
helped to bring about and discussed in broad terms where
the world now stands on legislation, representation, inclusive design and employment.
So in this final episode, I want to focus on
the future. Join me as I speak to leading figures

(01:59):
from boards and sports, television, business leaders and entrepreneurs and
disabled activists about the potential in the decade Ahead. I'm
Sophie Morgan. This is equal to episode six The Decade Ahead.

(02:24):
I want to start this episode with an extract from
a speech made by the multiple Bafter and Tony Award
winning writer Jack Thorne, an English screenwriter and playwright who
developed colinergic Cutakaria when he was twenty years old, and
it's perhaps best known for his recent adaptation of his
dark materials and the West End hit Harry Potter and
The Curse Child. And he's an executive producer on ht

(02:47):
white S forthcoming TV series on the Tokyo Games. Jack
no longer identifies as disabled, but remains a passionate advocate
for the community. Last month, he gave them a Taggert
lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival and use the speech
to tell the television industry some hard truths about the
reality of living with a disability. In the UK in

(03:08):
recent months, the journalist Francis Ryan wrote this in one
of her brilliant bursts of anger. What happened to our
most vulnerable during the pandemic was not some terrible tragedy.
It was the all too predictable consequence of a system
that decided the lives of disabled and older people mattered
less than those of the rest. I think that no

(03:31):
one can doubt those words are true and that system
was ours. So all I'm hoping for is a chink,
a chink of change, And once people realize how valuable
disabled people are, how consumable, the story suddenly will be
washed through with them and no longer will inspirational crip
be the model, and maybe hopefully disabled people will be

(03:53):
treated with an iote and more dignity. Disabled stories need
to be told, and when they are told, they need
to be told by disabled people. It's an obvious thing
to say it isn't happening. Jack's speech exposed the television
industry for its treatment of disabled people, both on and
off screen. The conclusions he draws are echoed throughout this

(04:16):
series that disabled people have been failed, not just in television,
but in every area of society. Disability is the forgotten diversity,
the one everyone leaves out. Speeches, Gender, race, sexuality all
rightly get discussed at length. Disability gets relegated out in
conversations about representation, in action, plans and newer planning. Disability

(04:39):
is confined to the corner. It remains an afterthought. You're
such an inspiration, so brave you remind me to do.
How can we ensure that in a decade from now
the situation will be very different, not just within television
but across all sectors. Before the start of the Tokyo

(05:02):
Paralympics last month, the International Paralympic Committee launched a new
campaign titled We the Fifteen and I Think Spatial about us,
We have more. We the Fifteen aims to transform the
lives of the cent of the global population with a
disability by bringing together a coalition of international organizations from

(05:23):
the worlds of sport, human rights, policy, communications, business, arts
and entertainment. As explained by the i p c s
President Andrew Parsons, the idea grew from a realization that
the i p C had the power to turn the
Paralympics into much more than a sporting event. It could
and should become a global movement billion people. I remember

(05:52):
in seventeen and was not a PC president, and I
went to an event at the United Nations headquarters in
New York, the cost which is the convention ont of
the State parties who has signed the Conventional Rights of
Persons with disability. And at that moment I realized, look,

(06:13):
we are not really connected to this world. You know
the Paralympic games we are doing. Let's say the games
are fantastic. We they are relevant enough. Now we can
make a difference. We can support the one point to
billion person with disability, let's say in a different way.
That's what prompted discussions at our at the i PC
board level, what can we do and then the idea

(06:36):
of a movement, Attend your movement, attend your campaign. That
was the idea that came to our mind, and how
we could then create an initiate or this global movement,
but bringing other sport organizations for for disabled people, but
also some international organizations from different sectors. Because that was
our conclusion, every four years is not enough. So I'm

(06:58):
really proud where we of the having launched the with
the fifteen, but it's only the beginning. Having just spent
two weeks in Tokyo, it is undeniable that the Tokyo
Paralympics has been a success from a sporting perspective, but
we will have to wait a bit longer to understand
whether there has been a significant social impact in Japan.
But we do know the power that the games can

(07:19):
have and has had on individuals involved. In Tokyo. We
met a blind volunteer who has felt that power. Mr
Shagiru Kudo, a teacher at a special needs school for
the blind community, tells us our needs. When you meet
a visually impaired person for the first time, you don't

(07:42):
always know what to say or how to help them
right away, but after a day's work, you will see
that the only difference is whether you can see or not,
and other than that you are not different. Perhaps the
experience of seeing different kinds of disabled people to lose
the Paralympic Games has inspired them to do something for

(08:04):
those like me who are close to them, to challenge themselves.
I believe that communicating with each other in this way
we lead to a symbiotic society where disabled people unable
bodied people lived together. So I think the most important
thing now is for people with disabilities to be active

(08:26):
in society and to let the able body know about us.
I'm sure that many disabled people, not just visually impaired,
volunteered at the tok of Games. I believe that if
we tell the world about this, the trend towards a
symbiotic society between able bodied people and disabled people with

(08:50):
spreadful out the world at future Palympic Games. In the meantime,
let us look ahead. Paris four is less than three
years away. Andrew Parsons is particularly keen to ensure that
the Paralympics in France will not just be remembered for
the sport, but for the change that it inspires. We

(09:12):
are going to account that is all about, you know,
um legally so egalitier equality is something absolutely fundamental to us,
and this is what we want to to tell the
French population. Look, it's in the foundation of your republic,
but now you need to go the extra mile and

(09:32):
include of your population that is not full included. Every
great endeavor begins with a dream. Following Paris, the Winter
Games will head to Milan Cortina in six, where Bebe Vio,
the Italian wheelchair fencing star of the Rising Phoenix film
and one of the world's most well known Paralympians who

(09:55):
just won a gold medal in Tokyo, hopes that the
hosting of the Games will also have a major packed
on society and culture in her home country, but with
particular emphasis on the younger generations. If you watch all
the plan, if you can, if you if you read
that old plan that you're doing for Cortina six, you
can see that most of the project are gonna be

(10:16):
based on the Paralympic movement, and they're going to be
based on the young generation. And so Milana is gonna be,
like I think it's gonna be something really great for us,
because there are so many countries, like so many cities
in Italy which are which are like perfect for people
with disability. I can say like Milan, I can say
like Cortina is growing up much better in this year.

(10:38):
And also we're doing so many projects with the city
of Cortina because they want to be much more without barrier,
without like much more disability friendly in some way, and
so they're living in fact that the Paralympic Game can
really change mentality of much of other people. Talking to

(10:59):
Andrew and Bay, you get the sense of a real purpose,
energy and vision for the decade ahead which goes far
beyond a two weeks sporting event, and just like any
other movement, it needs investment and support. Major brands are
increasingly recognizing the value of the Paralympics and want to
align their own ambitions with those of the movement and

(11:20):
the athletes and help them achieve their goals. One of
the first businesses that really understood this, as mentioned in
episode one, was Sainsbury's, a leading supermarket chain here in
the UK. Their CEO at the time was Justin King
and we spoke to him about why Sainsbury's got involved
with London. The decision for the Sainsbury's board was not

(11:41):
a financially justified decision. That's not why we took the decision.
It's not a presentation that said spend this money and
this will be the payback. It was a decision that said,
this is an agenda which is really meaningful for our
customers and colleagues. With some big decisions we need to
make as a business, where or not we get involved
with the Paralympics. But if we are involved, it will

(12:05):
raise the bar, you know, it will force us to
be a bigger thinking and ultimately we'll get a better
outcome as a result. I think the key learning for me,
and it really was brought home by the involvement with
the Paralympics, is that talent is multifaceted. You know, we

(12:26):
know that today as we sit here in and there
are other aspects of diversity which are perhaps grabbing the
bigger headlines, but behind that there's a core truth which
is diverse talent leads to better business outcomes. And so
for me, right up there at the top of the

(12:47):
learnings is to retain as broader perspective as possible on
the shape that talent takes, the life journey that that
talent has had, the particular experiences that they bring to
your business. And that requires not just an open mind,
but it does require most organizations to massively revisit the

(13:13):
way that they bring people into the business, the way
that they train them, the way that they select for
investment in training and ultimately, hopefully promotions and development. We
also spoke with Sarah Hershland, the CEO of the U
S Olympic and Paralympic Committee. She is convinced that in
the next decade, the commercial opportunities for the Paralympics are huge.

(13:36):
We are already seeing a shift in the commercial interest
in the Paralympics in our country. The notion of galvanizing
the corporate community in support of these athletes is starting
to happen in a tangible way in the United States.
So I don't know that it will wait until um.

(13:56):
I think we're going to be there well before that,
and we're going to see real energy. But I think
what we see from the commercial community, both on the
broadcasting side also on the sort of corporate sponsor side,
UM I think is going to be profound. But but
what to me will be the most profound and I
think will be very in place, and the structure will

(14:19):
be there is a world in which the consumer sentiment
comes shining through in in ways we can't possibly imagine, right.
I mean, each individual has a voice in our world
today that didn't used to be there. Galvanizing those voices
in support of the Paralympic movement is I think what

(14:40):
the story of is going to be about. What excites
Sarah about these commercial opportunities is the muscularity they bring
to the games to create what she believes will be
the biggest social impact in the history of the Paralympics,
telling me that she is convinced there is a new
intersection between sport and culture that l A will as
the entertainment center of the world, grasp un exploit in

(15:02):
ways that we have never seen before. The Paralympic Games
in Los Angeles is an opportunity to change our nation
and potentially, you know, even beyond our borders. You know,
the opportunity we have as building from Tokyo, building into
on the Winter Side, through the Beijian Games, through the
Paris Games, through the Milan Games. Each moment is an

(15:23):
opportunity to expose a new a new set of faces
to what this is all about. And if we do
our jobs right, we will expose some of those individuals
who are driving pop culture conversations. That could be film
coming out of Hollywood, it could be music, and particularly
coming out of the United States, there is always a

(15:44):
huge opportunity to influence sort of pop culture and what
is being talked about and what is being accepted. Michael Johnson,
four time Olympic champion also recognizes the potential of the
l A Games in to present an unprecedented opportunity for
commercial sponsors since um I think the Paralympics have made

(16:04):
a huge shift in a positive direction in the consciousness
of the public and sports uh media as well as
sports fans. But you know, it will stall if there
isn't a continued UMH progress m l A, which I
said on the board of I think that there is

(16:25):
a tremendous opportunity to really more normalize the games. I
don't want to minimize the progress that's been made in
seeing Paralympic athletes as athletes and seeing Paralympics sport as
sport as opposed to Hey, these are people that we
should support and a bit of sympathy, which those athletes,
you know, do not want. The Paralympic sport movement doesn't

(16:46):
want sympathy. Wants to be recognized as true, compelling sport
and amazing athletes. And I think that one thing that
we're good at here in America is finding ways to
monitor is and create business out of opportunities. And I
think that that's certainly, you know, the profit motive, the

(17:08):
branding and marketing motive around Paralympics could certainly, um, you know,
take off with the games here in l A. If
Michael is right, the l A Games could indeed raise
the bar higher than ever before. The organizers will be
buoyed by the news late last week that the NBC's
coverage of the Paralympics in Tokyo this summer saw higher

(17:29):
viewing figures in the US than ever before. And what
the U s has is perhaps the missing ingredient for
the ultimate recipe for success. A climate of deep unrest
and a longing for social justice in the wake of
some of the most prolific and galvanizing examples of discrimination
in recent times. There's already a huge movement here in

(17:49):
this country and has been for some time around equality
for everyone and marginalized groups. And I think that there's
a renewed um movement towards equality for everyone, uh over
the last year and a half or so, um, not
least of which is due to the um George Floyd

(18:13):
murder and what's been happening around the equality for African
Americans black people in this country. UM. But I think
that you know, this pandemic also has sort of highlighted
the the inequality amongst certain groups and UM and it's
sort of made people feel that, you know, we need
to be allies of any group that has been marginalized,

(18:36):
and of course people with disabilities are are certainly a
part of that. So I think that there is an
opportunity there and certainly that includes the disabled community, and
the Paralympics has always been, certainly in recent times has
been a leader in in um champion the rights of
of people with disability and I don't see any reason

(18:58):
why that won't continue and why this upcoming games could
not be an amazing opportunity to continue the champion net
and continued at a momentum. But I think a lot
of work can be done between now and then as well.
Another leading voice in the Paralympic movement is the British
sports boadcaster Claire Building. She has worked on every Summer
Paralympics as a presenter since Sydney two thousand. She echoes

(19:21):
Michael's optimism about the l A Games, but Claire has
some big and important questions. Will America finally wake up
to the power of the Paralympic Games? Will they show
it live? Will they show it for ten twelve hours
a day. Um, will they end up knowing the names
of more than two or three competitors? Will they I hope,

(19:41):
will they tell the stories of athletes from other parts
of the world, um, where finance might not be as good,
and and will they understand, um what it, what it means,
and what it can mean. And I really hope that happens.
In the to finish this podcast, co producer chan Ad
and I sat down to discuss what we've learned over

(20:01):
the past few weeks and what this can mean for
the future. Sophie, I'm conscious that for six episodes you
have been the host of this wonderful podcast, whilst I
have got to be not necessarily in the background, but
definitely not sitting in front of the microphone as much
as you were. So it's with great pleasure and privilege
that we get to end this series and this edition

(20:25):
of the series together. I guess my question for you
is what did you take from these six episodes, either
as a presenter, as a disabled person, as an advocate?
What did you learn? I think it's become very I
suppose in many ways I knew what to expect in

(20:48):
the sense that I had a healthy dose of cynicism.
I think about the way in which we communicate or
we tell the stories around disability, um and at sometimes
those stories get taken out of our hands and told
in the wrong ways. And so I've always felt a
little bit apprehensive when it comes to telling stories around

(21:11):
disability who gets to tell them? But because I knew
that we were taking control of this. And when I
say we, I say disabled people, and I say you're
you and me and the team that we worked with,
who got a real awareness and sensitivity to that exact cynicism,
that exact concern that, um, we need to speak with authority,
but also with empathy around disability and an understanding where

(21:33):
we don't know what we don't know. UM, so we
I think we lent into this whole podcast with with
with curiosity in a way that I came away feeling
some of my questions got answered, but I knew that
there would be some questions that remained aren't answered. But
what's how hopeful is I think that those questions that
remain aren't answered are not going to be forgotten about.

(21:56):
I feel that as a community, we are coming together
for the first time, or is perhaps for the first
time in my lifetime, I've seen people coming together from
around the world, perhaps using the Paralympics as a platform,
but really just I feel there's a galvanized effort from
the disabled community to come together and start pushing our

(22:17):
agenda forward and using each other and leveraging what we
can in our in our world to give us the
platforms that we need to speak out about where things
are going right and where things aren't and how about you? What? What?
What about you? I think it's been so brilliant to
have six different threads of conversation under the umbrella of disability.

(22:40):
And when we began this podcast, we had lots of
conversations back and forth about who the audience was. Was
it non disabled people, was it disabled people, was it allies?
Was it athletes? And one of the things that we
have been really considerate around is making sure that across
these six episodes that we appeal to listen to amplify

(23:01):
and bring questions to each of those audiences. And that
was far more challenging than I think both you and
I had thought about at the very beginning, and it
required such nuance and delicacy in the script writing, in
the interviewing, in the editing supported by a brilliant team.
But I think one of the things that I'm really
proud of in terms of my learnings of these six

(23:22):
episodes is the blueprint that we have put together in
terms of accessibility, making sure that this podcast has transcripts,
making sure that they are British Sign Language interpreted editions
of each of the episodes, making sure we're thinking about
accessibility through digital communications, but also not just looking at
representation is the only definition of success, and making sure

(23:43):
that we are viewing representation through an intersectional lens, across
geographic boundaries, across the different industries, and really importantly across disability,
because even when using the Paralympics as a platform to
instigate these conversations, we can be focused on physically disabled people.

(24:03):
And I realized the irony of you and I are
discussing this both having physical disabilities. But there's that phrase,
you know nothing about us without us, and we need
to be holistic in our focus in these conversations around disability,
because we can only speak for ourselves. I think the
other thing that I didn't actually expect to be able

(24:26):
to answer, which we put the question that we posed
at the beginning of this, which was where does the
story go next? And for me, like you say, because
we've put these these we've had these different themes and
in many ways when it comes to disability, there are
so many areas where we could focus our attention and
really push the agenda forward. Is that you representation? Is

(24:46):
it just in the laws that protect us. There's these
areas that all need work, but they don't work in isolation.
Like as you say, we need a holistic approach. But
I do feel I have concluded, and I think in
terms for Rising Phoenix about their agenda questioning where we
go next with this story, I think that there was

(25:07):
something that we wrote in the script which was essentially,
we need to be in the room where power is broken.
We need to be making decisions. And I say, we
disabled people need to be the nothing about us without us.
We are aware of it. Many disabled people are aware
of that phrase, even if it's even if it's not

(25:27):
even explicitly. Implicitly, we all know that. But I feel
that for the next part of this, this journey, to
take that giant leap forward, not slowly incremental changes. If
we want that giant leap, that's where we need to
see change. We need to see disabled people in decision
making roles. We need to see disabled people across the board,
because then we don't need to present our argument for

(25:52):
why we need to be represented, or why we should
be in the room, or why or why or why.
We don't need to answer that question. Somebody will get
it ready and so it's an easier the paradigm shift
will happen organically. And I so I feel in the
answer to the question is where the story goes next?
For me, employment is at the heart of this. And

(26:13):
again I know that that's nuanced and we're going to
have to look at so many different factors that are
going to need to be considered for that to be achievement,
for employment to happen, uh, you know, but I do
feel that that's where and what's exciting about is it
harks back to in a way what the Games were
originally for. The Games were used, but they were created
by a man whose vision was to integrate, to reintegrate

(26:35):
disabled people, people with spinal cord injury into the workforce.
That was the agenda, and that's what the games were
originally about. We might have lost cracktrack of that. That
the Games has become about sport. But if we can
use that to then influence that other question around employment,
I think that would be that would serve us hugely.
And that's where I feel the combined effort of so
many activists and campaigners and disabled people all around the

(26:59):
world and disabled athletes, I think that's where our focus
needs to be. Next, what about you. I was really
impressed with the level of access that we got, and
I mean that in the greatest sense of thinking about accessibility,
and that was fully supported by the brilliant team that
we've been working with over the past that but I
think one of the great challenges to the success of

(27:20):
this work is that everybody is working within a sylam,
within their own charity, within their own advocacy, within their
own organization, and rarely are there spaces or rooms created
wherein that expertise can be shared. I remember being on
the interview with Samiti from Profit and Gamble on her
talking me through how they broke brail onto the shampoo

(27:41):
bottles in a very methodological way so that that's actually
instructive for other companies, Or speaking to Hank from Ernest
Do Young talking about how do we meaningfully and intentionally
employ disabled people, but then also speaking to the athletes
themselves and having a very transparent conversation about what it
means to actually become a Paralympic athlete. What are the sacrifices,

(28:04):
what are the challenges, what's the routine, and what's the cost,
because I think, particularly in a moment of celebration, we
often gloss over the hardest parts. And being able to
across six episodes have this library of resources and tool
kids for individuals and organizations to get started or to

(28:25):
accelerate their journey. I hope there's the legacy that we
leave behind with this podcast. Absolutely, and and you know,
just listening to speak there, I'm just thinking about. What
was also quite interesting was as we launched this podcast,
and as we launched this conversation, as we start to
curate those voices and bring these people in, we weren't
alone in doing this right. There were so many other

(28:46):
people that we found were also, you know, were the
fifteen was just getting going, and we're seeing other groups
and other we aren't alone. Essentially is what I felt
that this isn't this what we've done might be pioneering
in many respects, but it's it's not in isolation, and
other people are curating these conversations and holding them in

(29:08):
different spaces, And I think that's really encouraging. And I
would echo your point that we we do work in silos,
but I feel that there's an awareness that you know,
we we Maybe there's not such an awareness that we
need to come together, but it's becoming less and less
um avoidable. It's almost like we are we all as planets,

(29:28):
little planets on our little worlds. We're gonna collide. You know,
people like you and I send who have worked in
different areas and different industries, you know, make me in
broadcasting and you in your areas. Have we come together
because we've got shared values? And I think that's so encouraging.
So I come away from this conversation. I come away
from what we've just done feeling incredibly motivated, perhaps more

(29:52):
than I ever have, about where we can get to.
And I hope mediums like we've created. This is the
other thing that I find interesting. What what are the
tools that we have as disabled people to tell stories?
What are the tools that we've got to shift the
dial to change, you know, the perceptions? And I'd never
stepped into the world of podcasts before, and I feel

(30:13):
that there's something there that's that's really powerful in itself.
As I'm moving away from television and into this space,
I think there's there's a great opportunity there too. So
I don't know, I feel like doors are opening, um
yeah for me and leaving these six episodes with a
renewed determination. As you were sharing earlier, one of the

(30:34):
great things that we were able to weave in in
this journey of six episodes was the different initiatives, moments
and movements that are happening throughout the fifteen We also
had Jack Thorne's brilliant lecture at the Edinburgh TV and
Film Festival. But I think what I am leaving with
in terms of that determination, is that all of these

(30:58):
things are wonderful, that they are pillars to something like
the Paralympics or award season. But disabled people exist sixty
five days a year, as do their challenges to access
employment representation rights. And this cannot be a conversation that

(31:19):
happens in one moment. That this has to be the
rhythm and the soundtrack to policy making, decision making, creative
opportunities forever more. And if we are not what I
spoke in the wheel in what constant progress has to
look like. And I think something else that came up,

(31:40):
And I because I hear that tenacity and energy in
your voice and I know I have it too, and
that feeling of you know, just because the games are over,
we need to take that moment into the movement and
we need to keep this going. And the wheel keep
needing to do whell keeps needing to turn. But I
feel very strongly and I thought I heard it echoed

(32:03):
a lot in some of the conversations that we had
to neate over the last few weeks. For the get
for the podcast is there's a there's an there's a
burnout that I feel very much can happen to disabled voices,
disabled people, disabled activists. I feel that people that sort
of activist, you know, fatigue is real, and disabled people

(32:25):
have taken so much control and are trying to take
so much control, but we cannot do it in isolation.
We cannot do it um just in our community. We
talk about ally ship, but I think perhaps more for
more than any other group marginalized group, I feel allyship
really really really isn't is the only way, not the

(32:45):
only way, it is one of the most important tools
for us to to be able to find and depend
upon moving forward. We can't just just keep trying to
go And it again speaks back to that thing of
you know, we need to be in the room. But
I do feel that's what the Paralympics does. It does
bring in the non disabled community and it opens eyes.

(33:06):
But I think we both have our concerns about how
those how that you know, the story is told, and
how how non disabled people get brought in and what
disabled people do as as entertainment for that that group,
how that can be good and bad. But I do
I want this conversation that we're having to not just
sit in our community. We said that all the way

(33:27):
through the podcast. This is everybody's story. And something Jack
Thorne did say, which I think is so powerful, is
that even if you aren't disabled, now you are everybody's
pre disabled. It's it's a reality we're all going to face.
And so this is an important global conversation. It's a
universal conversation, and that's something that I really really want

(33:49):
us to to start to hear, start to feel that it's,
you know, everybody's invested. My only concern about that notion
of we will all be disabled until the social and
cultural understanding of disability improves. That sits within a deprivation mother,
it feels like I'm going to be disabled, which is

(34:15):
that's what you were saying. In terms of advocacy Burnout.
One of the things that I'm most proud of in
this series is we did not ask anybody to expose
the most traumatic parts of their life in order to
be valid guests on our episodes. They came to us
and we amplified their voices and their perspectives because of

(34:36):
the expertise and the lived experience that they have. Sometimes
those two things were different, sometimes and most times one
informed the other. And so often when disabled people are
giving a space to tell a story, it is through
a non disabled gates that further others them, that allows
us to awe in all that they've overcome. This was informed, entertaining, factual,

(35:01):
but most importantly solution driven, which invites an audience that
has resources to say, hey, we can partner and support
you to make the world a better place for everyone.
Mm hmm. And again another I mean without clapping us up,
passing ourselves on the back too much. Although I am
I think a powerful part of what we did here

(35:22):
and deliberately so as to say, um, get involved in
this conversation. We don't have all the answers. We're looking
for solutions. These are some of that exist already, but
let's use this as a start. Let's use this as
a beginning of a longer conversation, a wider conversation, and
that I think is paramount. Now. It speaks to your

(35:42):
point of this. We don't want to just exist in
areas that you know, sort of silos of expertise where
we work in our one agenda. It invites people to
come in and for us to openly and transparently recognize
that in order for us to for all of us
to succeed, we all have to work together. Um. And
I think that's really important with the podcast is that

(36:02):
we we skimmed, We only touched the surface of some
of these subjects. And so the hashtag I want to
live on. I want the hashtag equal to to trigger
further debate, further conversation, even criticism. You know, we we
don't have all the answers. We also were so excited
to bring in so many different voices, but we know
there's more out there and other experts in different countries

(36:26):
where we didn't get that reach. And so, if anything,
if we can leave this legacy behind from this particular project,
is that awareness that we we're all in this together
and we're looking for answers and we're looking to better
the lives of absolutely everybody with the disability, and that's
our hope. So I hope the hashtag equal to creates

(36:48):
a life of its own, and also that other podcasts
come into the market. I want to listen to other
disabled people being producers, scriptwriters, host picking up where we
have left off, as you said, excavating the questions we
didn't get to and the solutions we couldn't build, and
the voices that are missing, and how their stories have

(37:08):
changed in time. I want to listen to that, because
there can't just be one and there never should be.
So true success is making sure that there is a
good comphony of podcasts and episodes led by those minority
voices and marginalized communities. And I can't wait to subscribe.
Wherever you get your projects, wherever you get your podcasts,

(37:30):
I'll tell you what as well, just looking ahead at
what we've got coming up um, and I do again.
You know, I recognize the limitations of the Paralympics, but
knowing what we've got coming up and knowing where these
conversations can go, and then what we've just done here
by using the Tokyo Games is our as our platform
to trigger some of these conversations. I hope that we

(37:50):
start to see, just like you say, conversations cropping up
around the Paris Games, around the l A Game. It's
a while away, but you know, these these this is
these are again it's it's the start of something and
I think that's it can't be forgotten. And we sort
of shift back into I don't want us to get lazy.
I guess that's what I'm trying to say. I don't

(38:11):
want us to get lazy with the representation of disability sport,
because it's more than that. The Paralympics have the potential
to do more than that, and that's exactly what we've
just seen, and I hope we do more. Sophie, you
were talking there about the upcoming games in Paris and
Los Angeles, and I think we've talked a lot today

(38:32):
about this podcast being a vehicle for awareness, education and advocacy.
But I think what's next is action, and when you
and I both signed up to be part of this,
what intrigued me most was that it was also an
opportunity to listen, to build ideas, to build a new

(38:54):
roadmap for the conversations the interviews that need to happen
in the next steps of the Journey of Rising Phoenix,
which is a brilliant documentary on Netflix that charts the
success and the challenges of Paralympics and Paralympic athletes. And
I think what has been so wonderful is again going
back to this notion of nothing about us without us.

(39:15):
How do we create a decade of content about disabled
people if we don't embed their ideas, innovations, concerns and
questions as part of it. So now that we've done
this round of listening, there will be more listening. Of course,
we can actually begin to embed the brilliant perspectives that

(39:38):
were part of these sex episodes and make it really
meaningful and also actionable. I didn't have anything to add.
I think, yeah, I think accountability matters to me as
well at the moment, I feel moving forward, if we
are going to be able to achieve what we talked

(39:59):
about so often in this podcast, so many of the
goals that we all share, accurate representation, stronger leadership, increased visibility,
all of these things that we're striving for, inclusive design.
I mean, the list goes on. I think it it
really harks back to we need to have it. We
need to be making those decisions for ourselves. We need
to be given those opportunities to create those meaningful kind

(40:23):
of um you know, roles. And I think unless that
we find a way to hold people to account when
we aren't getting it right, we we will also struggle.
So I think it's really a bit of a call
to action now as well too, to call out and
to hold accountable where we get it wrong, and to
also celebrate and point to best practice when we see it.

(40:46):
And this work will never be done because people are
ever changing, as is the world, So club weren't for
a long and brilliant right here we go. Throughout these podcasts,
we've heard from so many people about their experiences as
a disabled person or about ways in which non disabled
people have seen the need for real change. It's been

(41:09):
a privilege to listen to their stories here their experiences
and witness their ambitions, and whilst I am filled with
hope that things can and will improve over the next decade,
you will, I hope, forgive a certain dose of healthy skepticism.
But I think we should leave the last quote to
someone who can make a considerable difference to what the
Paralympic movement will achieve in the decade ahead. The i

(41:32):
p c S President Andrew Parsons, so really proud, really proud.
But it's only the beginning, and I want to feel
even prouder at the end of this tenure journey we
will look back on and if we could really say, look,
we made a difference. We have contributed to create more
inclusive societies. We know that it's impossible to tackle the

(41:53):
whole world with one initiative or series of initiatives because
they different levels of development of nation and cultures, you know,
different parts of the rule they react differently. So we
want to make that's where we keep saying societies, because
we need to understand the national context and really work

(42:13):
in every one of the two hundred plus nations around
the world. This podcasts have been made possible because of
the support of Procter and Gamble. P and G share
our ambition to create a more equal world, a world
where everyone can have equal access and the opportunity to thrive.
We are very grateful for their partnership in making these
conversations a reality. Six people with a direct involvement in

(42:36):
the production of the podcast, including guests identify as disabled.
This podcast was created by Greg Nugent, co founder of
Harder Than You Think. I'm Sophie Morgan, your host and
executive producer. Fellow executive producers are Chanaid Burke, Greg Nugent,
Barnaby Spurrier, Laura i'ms Mark Richard, and Kimberly Doebrennier. Thank

(42:59):
you to the IPC and Channel four for their support
and use of archive material. Thank you to our podcast
production partner, Strip Media, and also to Seneca Women for
their assistance with distributing this show. If you want to
follow the equal two story and join the conversation hashtag
equal to go to our website ht white dot world,

(43:20):
where you will find the transcript and video versions of
the podcast, along with subtitles and a BSL signed version
in the coming days. The ht white team Callum Campbell,
lead researcher, Jemma Thompson, Managing Director, Charlotte Todman Campaigns and Communications,
Kirsty Asher researcher, Kimberly Smith production coordinator, Camilla Fung researcher.

(43:44):
Stripped Media Team, Tom Wally lead editor, Anita E. Lash Editor,
Kobe Omanaka series producer, Sehawan Togod producer, Francesco Traska's producer,
Carrie Morrison producer, May Fozzard, production coordinator. Additional scriptwriting by
Josh Williams and Alice Elliott from the draft, BSL translation

(44:08):
and BSL signer, Rin Kubar Paga, subtitling and video editing
by Beacon Films, and finally, our artwork by North Design
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