London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: including volunteers with disabilities, a podium performance

Simon Darcy, T.J. Dickson, Angela Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents an examination of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games' volunteers who identified as having access needs and/or disabilities. The methodology draws upon data collected as part of a larger quantitative mixed method research design through an online survey that included open-ended questions. The quantitative element of the online survey was framed by the Special Event Volunteer Motivation Scale together with sociodemographic questions supplemented by disability and access specific questions. The qualitative analysis of the open-ended responses of the experiences of people with disability was framed using the UK government's Office of Disability Issues (ODI) policy conceptualization of the barriers affecting the access and inclusion of people with disability. A small number of volunteers related feedback consistent with the principles of the ODI best practice through good staff support and overall positive experiences. However, other experiences indicate significant organizational, environmental, and structural issues faced by volunteers with disability in the program. The implications of these findings for future event planning processes and broader macropolicy considerations are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-446
Number of pages16
JournalEvent Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


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