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Please let us not forget the para passport to success at the Games

One of the many delights of Glasgow's Commonwealth Games was the involvement of parasports athletes.

Not just Scottish successes, like 13-year-old swimming medallist Erraid Davies, or sprinter Libby Clegg, but all the disabled athletes whose events were in the main programme, not run later as a kind of footnote.

The prominence of parasport led to some hyperbolic comment. It just shows, commentators and tweeters claimed, that you can do anything you set out to do, "there are no barriers", as one caller told a radio phone-in.

Except that there are. UK charity Vitalise issued a press release which risked looking a little curmudgeonly, last week, pointing out how quickly the glow of the London paralympics had faded, and warning that investment is needed to ensure a legacy for disabled people.

It is a timely warning. Because for all that Glasgow 2014 has been a marvellous and visible example of the strides disabled people have made in terms of integration and inclusion, many have never felt so pessimistic.

A government and media assault on benefit claimants has left some disabled people feeling victimised, while they have also been among the hardest hit by welfare reforms.

Still more have seen cuts to services they rely upon. It is difficult to participate in disabled sport or other activities you enjoy if you've been given a new budget and it doesn't cover even your basic care needs.

Glasgow 2014 made a big effort to render the venues and their approaches accessible, and this will form part of the games' legacy. Disabled people were not just participants in these games, they were enthusiastic spectators too.

And they contributed in other ways,with dozens of people with disabilities supported to join the Host City Volunteer team, for example, gaining experience themselves as well as contributing to the experience of visitors.

Many will want to put that to good use. But will they get to? Around 500,000 disabled people of working age in Scotland are out of work, while according to a report last year from the Equality & Human Rights Commission, fewer than 0.5 per cent of all modern apprenticeship places go to disabled people.

So for all the positivity engendered by the Games there are still barriers. Ensuring disabled people have more support and real opportunities would be the best legacy.

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