Disability and Sport: The Birth of the Paralympics – from Rehabilitation to World Class Performance


This section tells you about Ludwig Guttman, Stoke Mandeville’s first director, who used sport as a central element in his revolutionary rehabilitation system for people paralysed in the Second World War, and how an archery competition in 1948 led to the birth of the Paralympics.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.