IPC to Vote on Re-inclusion into Paralympics

Your support is needed to make sure the US votes “yes” to re-inclusion of athletes with intellectual disability into the Paralympics, including the London 2012 Games.

On November 21st in Kuala Lumpur, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will vote on the re-inclusion of athletes with intellectual disability in future Paralympic games, starting with London 2012.

While many international members of the IPC have pledged to vote “yes,” the US Paralympic Committee has not demonstrated support for re-inclusion. Please join us in petitioning our US representatives for this important vote.

We need your signature on a letter we are sending to the US Paralympic Committee urging them to vote “yes” for re-inclusion.

[Note the period to sign this petition has passed]

In the nine years that have passed since the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney Australia, an entire generation of athletes has been shut out (read more in our blog post “Nine Years of Unfair Exclusion”). While we can’t bring back the lost opportunities for those young people, we can ensure a different future. In preparation for the IPC General Assembly vote, we must all remind our representatives that athletes with intellectual disability have a right to participate and must not be forgotten.

As Ambassador Rice stated at the US signing on the UN Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities, the United States “reject[s] discrimination in all its forms, and call[s] for the full participation and inclusion in society of all persons with disabilities.”

This is a critical vote to end the nine years of Paralympic exclusion and the beginning of a new era of Paralympic opportunity for the elite athletes with intellectual disability. As the world’s leader in disability rights, the Unites States must lead the way by voting for re-inclusion and ensure that the voices of athletes with intellectual disability are heard.

Read the Motion

Below is the motion, submitted jointly by the IPC Governing Board and Inas, that IPC member countries will vote on in November 21-22, 2009 at the IPC General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur:

The IPC General Assembly (i) acknowledges the progress made by the joint IPC/Inas Working Group in defining and assessing general eligibility, sport specificity and on-site testing and protest management; (ii) notes that the system currently developed uses a scientific approach that is compliant with the IPC Classification Code; and (iii) notes that effective sports input has been ensured.

Thereby, the IPC General Assembly confirms that the criteria and processes for the re- inclusion of athletes with an intellectual disability (ID) in Paralympic sport as specified by previous IPC General Assemblies have been met.

Therefore, subject to compliance with the sports specific minimal disability scores outlined in the attached rationale, the IPC General Assembly recognises that athletes with intellectual disability will be eligible to compete in the respective International Federation sanctioned competitions, including the London 2012 Paralympic Games.