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Disability news roundup: Tony Nicklinson, I'm Spazticus, Paralympics

Emma Emma | 15:32 UK time, Friday, 24 August 2012

Newspaper front pages

It's an eclectic week for disability news. Paralympics dominate but lots of disability news stories are using the forthcoming event as a launchpad over this period. But we start with some sad news that we didn't expect to hear this time last week:

• Tony Nicklinson passed away earlier this week, just days after he lost his case in the High Court for the right to end his life.

The 58 year old husband and father, who had locked-in syndrome, died peacefully at his home due to pneumonia. He had been refusing food since receiving the verdict.

BBC News Magazine's Paper Monitor summerised newspapers' reactions to Mr. Nicklinson's unexpected death.

• Channel 4, who hold the TV rights to the Paralympic Games, aired their much awaited hidden camera show about disability this week.

I'm Spazticus, which saw disabled people play pranks on able-bodied members of the public, received mixed reviews. Scott Jordan-Harris wrote in The Telegraph that I'm Spazticus isn't offensive and it isn't ground-breaking. It's just awful. Writing for the Independent, fellow disabled blogger Sarah Ismail went one step further, calling the comedy disablist, while one of the stars of the show, Peter Mitchell defended it when he told The Radio Times that, I'm Spazticus will shock, but we're just having fun.

Paralympic News

The lead up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games has dominated the news over the past seven days. Here's just a flavor of what has been reported so far and below these are the regular headlines.

Duke of Edinburgh to miss Paralympic Games opening ceremony (BBC News, Friday 24 August)

Paralympic Games: Cauldron lit ahead of torch relay (BBC News, Friday 24 August)

Carried by soldiers, no score-keepers at 1960 Paralympics (BBC News Magazine, Friday 24 August)

Jordanian Paralympian sex charge trio to miss Games (BBC News, Thursday 23 August)

Paralympic Games: Ex-boxer Michael Watson to carry torch (BBC News Thursday 23 August)

Olympiad festival to 'open doors for disabled artists' (BBC News, Thursday 23 August)

How hard is it to travel around London in a wheelchair? (CBBC Newsround, Thursday 23 August)

Celebrate Paralympians, but remember they needed state help to get there (The Guardian, Thursday 23 August)

Paralympic athletes who harm themselves to perform better (BBC News, Wednesday 22 August)

Meet the Boccia brothers (BBC News, Tuesday 21 August)

Paralympics off with a Big Bang: Professor Stephen Hawking to be star turn of opening ceremony (The Mirror Online, Tuesday 21 August)

Behind the Paralympics, the reality for disabled people in Britain 2012 (The guardian, Monday 20 August)

Elsewhere in the news

Some mental health patients in Wales coerced (BBC News, Friday 24 August)

Audit Commission urges social care savings of £300m (BBC News, Thursday 23 August)

Older dads linked to rise in genetic disorder (BBC News, Wednesday 22 August)

Wheelchair user pushing himself across Africa (BBC News, Tuesday 21 August)

Disability activists use social media to put care cuts on the political agenda (The Guardian, Monday 20 August)


  • Comment number 1.

    I've had a real bee in my bonnet about I Spazticus even though it's gone and hopefully dead.

    Totally unfunny and hugely offensive the actors that took part in this hogswill of a show should hang their heads in shame.

    Remember when Channel 4 used to be good?

    Seems like a long time ago now.



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