“This Is the Story of Community Leadership with Political Backing. (PM1)” Critical Junctures in Paralympic Legacy: Framing the London 2012 Disability Inclusion Model for New Global Challenges †
2. Background and Policy Context
2.1. The UK Equality Legislation
2.2. The Paralympic Games
2.3. London 2012
2.4. Disability Inclusive International Development
2.5. Previous Studies of Disability Inclusion
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. Research Aims
- What approach was used by London 2012 to embed disability inclusion?
- How replicable is the London 2012 model to other similar programs?
- To what extent can London 2012 be considered a ‘critical juncture’?
3.2. The Delphi Methodology Overview
3.3. Adapted Delphi Methodology for This Study
3.3.1. Hypothesis A—The Initial Hypothesis
- Round 1: semi-structured interviews were conducted by a trained qualitative researcher, VA, with 10 individuals (‘Panel Members’) who worked in the London 2012 organisations at the time. The Panel Members valued the items in Hypothesis A using a Likert scale. Thematic analysis conducted by KM and VA led to a modification of Hypothesis A and the development of Hypothesis B.
- Round 2: a digital survey led by KM, offered the new Hypothesis B to the Panel Members who scored the Hypothesis B and answered some open questions about the uniqueness and replicability of the London 2012 approach.
- Round 3: a consensus building workshop presented results from the survey, focusing the discussion on the two items that did not have consensus backing (75% or less of the respondents scoring the item as important) as well as the order. The meeting was facilitated by VA and KM, and the group were able to further refine the Hypothesis by discussing any items that had not reached consensus in round 2 and 3. A couple of items were refined and merged, with new items added, until the whole group was happy with the 2012—12 step disability inclusion model—hypothesis C. The workshop then discussed applicability to future programs.
- Round 4: Thematic analysis of the qualitative data from the previous interviews, survey and workshop was used to build out the ‘explainers’ of each of the 12-stem 2012 Inclusion Model ‘items’. Thematic analysis was used to enhance the answers and consider the replicability question.
3.3.2. Data Collection and Analysis
3.3.3. Determining Group Consensus
3.3.4. Recruitment Strategy
3.4. Institutional Review Board Statement
4.1. Round 1: Interviews and Item Rating
4.1.1. Item Rating
- Management and measurement of objectives (50%),
- Public/community backing (70%) and
- Innovation (70%).
4.1.2. Exploring the Change between Hypothesis A and Hypothesis B
“So I think, I think it’s, you know, if you have the whole tapestry, it’s a bunch of passionate people who are banging away at whatever it is they’re passionate about for years, who grabbed this moment.”(PM 1)
“We just felt like if we took a well thought out project to the board…it was acted on. There wasn’t any procrastination going on for months, because we didn’t have months.”(PM 3)
“[Time] creates a unique morale that ‘we are all in this together’ and need to deliver, and deliver well, as come the time, the world will be watching!“(PM 1)
4.1.3. Other Nuanced Changes from Hypothesis A to B
- Resources and experts/tools came out very strongly as key, and training was especially highlighted. Resources were so central and related to financing and non-financial resources. This resulted in a split out of original item 4 (Resources, experts and Tools) into two new items, 4 (expert technical assistance and training) and 5 (resources and resourcefulness and tools)
- Management and measurement of objectives was not enough alone to resonate with the group, and it was related to both data and the broader category of progress management. There was a strong indication from the group that ongoing research, and a ‘trail and test’ mechanism should be expressed more clearly. Original item 5 was therefore transformed into Item 8 (good enough data and progress management) in Hypothesis B, and ‘innovation’ retained.
- Item 6, public and community backing was better expressed as ‘Diverse partnership where everyone can drive change’.
- Leadership and involvement of disabled people has been transformed from 7, to new item 0 (to indicate its necessity as a precursor to everything).
- A new, better expressed innovation item was included in Hypothesis B (7) related to the comments made about its importance, despite it not quite making the cut off consensus in round 1.
- Scrutiny was added to consequences for failure to act—note not failure, but failure to try (9)
- Reflection was added to celebration of success, to add the idea of reflective celebration of meaningful milestones, rather than mindless cheering of unimportant or fabricated things. Furthermore, to reflect the need for ongoing learning—not everything was got right first time.
4.2. Round 2: Online Survey Results
- Scrutiny and consequences of failure to act (56%)
- Reflection and celebration of success (67%).
4.3. Round 3: A Consensus Building Workshop
4.3.2. Exploring the Change between Hypothesis B and Hypothesis C
- Community leader’s articulation of needs was adopted into the model (as #1)
- Time limited action moved up (to 4), as felt critical to set up front (close to objectives)
- Partnership moved to after governance (6) as they were considered to be interconnected
- Experts (7), Resources (8), Innovation (9) and Data/scrutiny/mgt (10) now sit as a vital and related group
- Culture of excellence (11) was added, this was a reworking of ‘consequences of failure to try’ and talked to the importance of ‘going the extra mile’ that permeated all organisations involved—people wanted to do their best.
- We adapted reflection and recognition of success (12) to remove ‘celebration’ which had a difficult resonance with many Panel Members who felt it could be seen as ‘empty’ or even ‘patronising’.
4.3.3. Hypothesis C
4.3.4. The Relationship between Items and Application to Future Programs
4.4. Building out the Definitions of the Items from the Qualitative Data
4.4.1. Part 1: ‘Get Ready’—Community-Led Mission Setting (Comprising Items 1,2,3)
“This is a story of community leadership with political backing.”(PM1)
“I think it took a lot of hard work on all of us working in the access and inclusive design field. We had a lot of battles all the way through on certain design issues. And but, you know, I think we did damn well really.”(PM2)
This hard work took the form of “community leadership and management and reviewing [which] is what gets things done.”(PM3)
“a community of interest of individuals, and probably quite small organisations that hold a torch, and that are probably associated with each other in some sorts of ways. And that they banged away and banged away and banged away and bludgeoned this into the official story is my guess.”(PM1)
“So I think, I think it’s, you know, if you have the whole tapestry, it’s a bunch of passionate people who are banging away at whatever it is they’re passionate about for years, who grabbed this moment.”(PM1)
4.4.2. Part 2: ‘Get Set’—The Essential Building Blocks (Comprising Items 4–8)
“I think we just felt like if we took a well thought out project to the board, or well thought out ideas for the board. It was acted on. There wasn’t any procrastination going on for months, because we didn’t have months.”(PM 3)
“You’ve got to get it right first time. So you’ve got to bring in the best knowledge, the best experience that you could.”(PM 4)
“When the access consultants and inclusion leads were there it just felt like there was a genuine thirst for that knowledge to embed it and make sure they got it right.”(PM 5)
“That sense of having the vision dream it [what was possible]. [we said] Don’t be constrained just by what you think of the resources … think of how can we bring this [vision to life] centred on resourcefulness.”(PM 6)
“When designs came through BEAP [Built Environment Accessibility Panel], they could actually change it. And … that was being changed through the voice of local people and local disabled people.”(PM 5)
4.4.3. Part 3: Go: Setting a Culture of Success (Comprising Items 9–12)
“Keeping track of our progress through a Balanced Scorecard and ID [Inclusive Design] standard mapping was essential. We worked it through with Deloitte. Otherwise you end up asking: how useful or beautiful is this?”(PM 10)
“There was a real desire to make a difference and to make a change.”(PM 7)
“People were open to ways of working and doing things differently and better.”(PM 9)
4.4.4. Part 2: Final Items and Explainers
4.5. Addressing the Questions of Critical Juncture and Replicability
“What was wonderful was coming across the same designers at network rail and them wanting to apply the same principles because they understood why, not because we told them the history lesson, but these guys are designers, they want to know how it works and why it works—we gave them examples.”(PM 10)
“It’s not all about the moment. It’s about it’s about the journey. And then it’s about the learning from the journey.”(PM 8)
The Panel summarised that the London 2012 games could be considered a “a blueprint, where you would look at codifying everything that we did and then have [the solution] out of the box.”(PM 6)
Limitations and Further Research
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Panel Members Are Gratefully Thanked for Sharing Their Wisdom and Experiences
Appendix A. Round 1 Interview Guide
- By London 2012 I refer to all agencies and individuals involved in delivering the Games and its legacy program, including local communities. Who would you include in that?
- What is your name and what was/is your role around London 2012?
- When you reflect on the London 2012 approach to Disability inclusion how well do you think it went?Describe some good examples?How were you involved in them?
- What was unique about this compared to other project(s) you have seen before or since?
- Do you believe the disability inclusion objectives of London 2012 were well understood?
- Were non-specialist colleagues aware of how they could embed DI?Can you give any examples?
- What were the main ways in which you observed disability inclusion being systematically included in London 2012 activities?
- How would the following rate/weight in your opinion, in order of importance?
- Clear Mission
- Political buy in
- Resources & experts/tools
- Management and measurement of objectives
- Public/community backing
- Leadership and involvement of disabled people
- Celebrating success
- Consequences of failure
- Anything else?
- [REVEAL HYPOTHESIS DIAGRAM] How far does this represent what you understand of the disability inclusion approach undertaken by London 2012?What would you add/amend?Is there anything missing?
- What could London 2012 have done better?Can you give examples?
- What should future projects consider?
- Were there non-replicable special circumstances that made the London 2012 approach possible?Are this really, truly non-replicable?
- How important was disability inclusion to the overarching mission of London 2012 in your opinion?
- How much did this influence what happened?
- Is there anything else you’d like to add?
- Is there any thing you’d like to ask me?
- Who else should I talk to?
Appendix B. Round 2—Individualised Feedback Sent to Panel Members Prior to Survey in Round 2
- Clear Mission: 4
- Political buy in: 4
- Resources & experts/tools: 4
- Management and measurement of objectives: 4
- Public/community backing: 4
- Leadership and involvement of disabled people: 5
- Celebrating success: 4
- Consequences of failure: 4
- Innovation: 3
- Clear Mission—100%
- Political buy in—100%
- Resources & experts/tools—100%
- Management and measurement of objectives—50%
- Public/community backing—70%
- Leadership and involvement of disabled people—100%
- Celebrating success—90%
- Consequences of failure—80%
|Item||Comments from Interviews|
|Clear mission||Do you start with an idea, a good idea of the vision. But then when the clarity comes later, decisions are easier. If you have clarity over vision or mission then you are looking to see if decisions add to, deliver to that mission? It can make things more straightforward|
I am not sure mission comes first, if you start with a mission, you may not have the same people involved at the beginning. I think you start with an idea, but the scoping of a mission needs verification, ratification, polishing. To move and shift and not be fixed.
Clear mission and joint objectives starts in the community
|Political buy in||If you don’t get it through cabinet, you haven’t got a games. Political buy in critical at beat points all the way through|
Buy in—not leadership in the sense of initiative. There is a distinction between buy in and leadership
The problem with political buy in was that you have to have it cross party
|Resources and experts/tools||Resourcefulness needs to be added—having a sense of seeing the possibility, and then making it a reality|
incredibly important and an informed client, will and client intelligence. Client will is one thing then they need to put their money where their mouth is.
|Management and measurement of objectives||Its two different things. I mean measuring things is great but that’s not the real thing|
|Public/community backing||General Public were a key client group even if they would never come. Otherwise you have a negative draining resource. I was always after a chance to have everyone as an ambassador as we could convert them|
this is a story of community leadership with political backing
community leadership and management is what get things done, and reviewing it.
really important because of the daily mail test. Avoid the headline that says disability access costs £20m.
A lot of the community were against us, about delivering large bits of infrastructure, change. Disability community it was important but there was a lot of distrust about regeneration and not doing what we promised. More about transparency and open dialogue
|Leadership and involvement of disabled people||we don’t need to theorise. They’ve never been disabled volunteers driving before! |
about the involvement of people with lived experience in every single element of what you’re doing. Because if you don’t, then you are making the assumption that they can’t do that.
because one of the things you have to try to do is get the buy in and stretch the standards in order to recognise others. To give it a 5 you would have to have perfect representation—so it needed to be mediated by professionalism.
|Celebrating success||It is important, keeps people engaged but learning from failures is more important|
not over cooking but appreciating, just like a competitor you have to understand the beat points on the journey. Refinement and reflection.
I am not sure about this, I feel like it should be more of a pros and cons
it is important [to celebrate success] as thinking about the future is what encourages people to continue to work hard for inclusion—it gives people the chance to understand what can happen.
don’t think there was a strong enough review and dissemination of learning. That to me, would have been the real celebration. It becomes easy to fall into the delivery trap. Where it becomes very easy to focus on the things we said we would deliver on. Rather than the celebration we got through it
Being able to clearly demonstrate the added value disability inclusion brings is really important.
|Consequences of failure||There is a huge amount of time people spend pushing blame around in the construction world. Pointing the finger at the architects or the designers or subcontractors. No one ever takes responsibility|
I think there is unnecessary time spent on consequences of failure or responsibility of failure—rather than this didn’t go right what shall we do next time?
highlighting failure, that’s what disabled people have been doing for years, doesn’t necessarily work, because it makes people think ‘they got away with it’ and it encourages people to laugh and provoke no innovation and not trying
Very important learning from failure, understanding when things go wrong
|Innovation||critical in every sense, because innovation is enabled by inclusion and innovation you could define as doing stuff differently and therefore without it we wouldn’t change attitudes|
And if we weren’t, if we weren’t going to have innovation, we weren’t going to change attitudes, we weren’t going to have the kind of games and the kind of legacy that we all wants to have
I think sometimes we strive so hard to make something innovative. We don’t learn the lessons of the past, because we don’t feel we can just repeat something that’s worked. it stops us embedding what we already know. Ah, search for the endless new
when we came across problems we found solutions—otherwise we freeze design and that’s been part for the problem for access for a while. Continuous improvement for more and more people
Innovation and change happens locally—from the places that are not official. Bludgeoning your way in.
Appendix C. Round 3 Workshop Agenda
- To agree upon a core set of items that were important in delivering the disability inclusion approach of London 2012:
- Feedback will be discussed from both the interviews and surveys
- Discussions about new potential themes—consensus when ‘most’ people agree 4/5 for each item.
- To discuss the dynamic relationship between the items and if this it is a linear or circular relationship or something else
- To discuss to what extent London 2012 games could be considered a ‘critical juncture’ in disability justice terms and the application to future projects:
- Was the approach specific to a moment in time with a specific set of circumstances?
- How could this approach be applied to future projects?
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|1||Not important at all|
|Hypothesis A: Items Significant to the Disability Inclusion Approach of London 2012||% of Panel Members Giving 4 or 5|
|1. Clear mission and joint objective setting||100%|
|2. Political leadership||100%|
|3. Resources and experts/tools||100%|
|4. Management and measurement of objectives||50% *|
|5. Public/community backing||70% *|
|6. Leadership and involvement of disabled people||100%|
|7. Celebrating success||90%|
|8. Consequences of failure to act||80%|
|9. Innovation||70% *|
|Hypothesis B (Tested in Round 2)||% of Panel Members Giving 4 or 5|
|1. Community leaders’ articulation of needs/priorities||78%|
|2. Political leadership||78%|
|3. Clear mission and joint objective setting||100%|
|4. Governance by disabled leaders and partners||100%|
|5. Expert technical assistance and training||78%|
|6. Resources (resourcefulness) and tools||100%|
|7. Diverse partnerships where everyone can drive change||89%|
|8. Inclusive innovation encouraged||89%|
|9. Good (enough data) and progress management||89%|
|10. Scrutiny and consequences of failure to act||56% *|
|11. Reflection and celebration of success||67% *|
|12. Time limited action—a clear deadline||89%|
|Part 1||GET READY: Community-LED MISSION SETTING|
|The Community of Interest (e.g., disabled people) will already know what issues need to be tackled, and will probably have been campaigning for some time for these issues to be addressed. Transitioning ‘external’ claims, into a commonly adopted (disability inclusion) mission is a vital stage one.|
|Both Party Political (big P) support, as well as (small p) political institutional backing are vital to set up the Disability Inclusion mission for success and to align resources to its delivery.|
|Turning the broad aims of the mission into well understood; regularly articulated; measurable, timed—and agreed—objectives is an important part of the process which raises the profile of the work and gives all interested parties the chance to offer their own contribution.|
|Part 2||GET SET: Essential Building Blocks|
|For the mission to be successful it should spark interest, maintain momentum, and be delivered according to a timeframe which is fixed.|
|Co-design of the initial mission by the Community of Interest is not enough, the governance and scrutiny of success should also involve them, alongside key partners responsible for delivery.|
|It is vital that all key constituencies have the option of being a part of the movement towards the mission because they will bring additional capacity and diversity of thought and approach.|
|Even the most progressive organisation with the best trained expert—generalists cannot succeed without technical assistance. Ideally this should be ‘client side’ of the organisation/s resourcing mission delivery as well as within the delivery agencies. This doesn’t negate the need for all staff to receive meaningful, actionable training which is also vital.|
|Where possible resources should be shared, for economies of scale and so larger partners can support smaller with tools and guides. Resourcefulness will always be required and creative solutions encouraged.|
|Part 3||GO: Enabling a Culture of Success|
|It is likely at least some of what is needed to deliver the mission has not been done before, so innovation is not optional. It is also a great chance to explore the art of the possible which could leave a lasting legacy and builds a bonded culture of collective learning adding ‘the magic in the middle’ between what people already know how to do.|
|Data is always disappointingly difficult, but work with what you have and a blunt instrument can give rise to perverse incentives. However, progress must be mapped, ideally commensurately across stakeholders, and certainly in a way that project managers, communities and decision-makers can track and understand easily. This is the magic that unlocks resources.|
|Everyone, no matter their role, is empowered and supported to go the extra mile against the mission. Those who try new things that don’t work, are applauded. Those who fail to try at all face penalties.|
|Reflection (‘how are things are going and how they can be improved’) builds on a culture of innovation.|
Recognition—including through the media and public/community—is offered at regular milestones along the journey.
Both (reflection and recognition) are built regularly into the timeline, not just a feature at the end.
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Austin, V.; Mattick, K.; Holloway, C. “This Is the Story of Community Leadership with Political Backing. (PM1)” Critical Junctures in Paralympic Legacy: Framing the London 2012 Disability Inclusion Model for New Global Challenges. Sustainability 2021, 13, 9253. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169253
Austin V, Mattick K, Holloway C. “This Is the Story of Community Leadership with Political Backing. (PM1)” Critical Junctures in Paralympic Legacy: Framing the London 2012 Disability Inclusion Model for New Global Challenges. Sustainability. 2021; 13(16):9253. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169253Chicago/Turabian Style
Austin, Victoria, Kate Mattick, and Cathy Holloway. 2021. "“This Is the Story of Community Leadership with Political Backing. (PM1)” Critical Junctures in Paralympic Legacy: Framing the London 2012 Disability Inclusion Model for New Global Challenges" Sustainability 13, no. 16: 9253. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169253