As the lights dimmed on the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the weekend, attention quickly turned to the upcoming Paralympic Games, which commence on 29 August and run until 9 September.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has worked from the outset to create Games that are ‘accessible for all’, investing in public transport to make journeys to and from the venues easier for those with a disability.
The Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) Inclusive Design Strategy ensured that each of the venues were built with accessibility in mind, providing easy access for anyone with a disability and people of all ages.
The ODA worked closely with the Olympic Park Legacy Company and the project was underpinned by six priority themes, one of which was design and accessibility.
The design for the Olympic Park incorporated wider pathways through the grounds with smooth surfaces and seating and resting places at regular intervals. Slopes only have gentle gradients to give all users greater freedom of movement.
This forward planning during the construction phase will mean the venues leave a lasting accessibility legacy, as these are all elements that will remain when the Park undergoes development and reopens as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2013.
London 2012 has set an excellent standard of accessibility, ensuring that the Olympic Park and venues are accessible to all types of visitors, including wheelchair users, families and people of all ages.