Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion
Looking way beyond disability
compréhension de l'écrit et expression écrite
Intérêt du sujet • Ce n'est pas uniquement en modifiant les lois que le regard sur le handicap changera : des événements sportifs tels que les Jeux paralympiques ont sans doute un impact plus grand dans l'évolution des mentalités.
Document 1A special PE lesson
My first experiences of disability sport were pretty confusing, not to mention painful and slightly humiliating. I lost my sight very suddenly aged 13 in 1984 and, before I could blink, or think, I was whisked away to a “special” boarding school for blind children in Worcester – 200 miles away from my home.
[…] I was pretty […] intrigued, when it came to having my first PE1 lesson.
So, how does sports work with one teacher and 10 blind kids in a class? I'm still not quite sure actually but we all trooped out onto the running track, with everyone cracking jokes and pushing each other, all seeing it as an entirely normal lesson – except me. We were going to do a 100m sprint, I learned. But how do you run if you can't see? A fairly basic question which, seemingly, I was a bit too embarrassed to ask at that tender age. So I didn't.
We all lined up at the top of the track, and, as new boy, I was chosen to go first. The teacher stood at the other end with a very loud megaphone. “OK Damon. On your marks, get set, go...” I ran as hard and as fast as I could but something weird was happening. The teacher started shouting “five, five, five!” I didn't get it. Was he adding maths into our leisure curriculum? “Five, five, five, six, six, six, seven!” I must have been going impressively fast because I could no longer feel the track under my trainers. “Eight, eight, eight, nine!” It was all happening at a dizzying pace and, was it my imagination or was I going slightly downhill? “Nine, nine, nine, 10, 11, ditch, long grass, brambles... Whittington Road”.
Everyone laughed loudly and, as the teacher unravelled me from the bushes, he explained his number shouting system. “Did you not know? Five means you're running straight towards me, four means you've gone a little to the left, six means you're erring right.” I'd gone off the scale.
Damon Rose, Paralympics: The perils of being a blind athlete,
BBC News, 7 September 2012
1. PE = physical education.
Document 2London 2012: How the world saw the Paralympics
As the final day of the Paralympic Games unfolded across London, media commentators from around the world have reflected on its achievements.
[…] Bahrain's Gulf Daily went as far as to say that the abiding legacy of London 2012 may not be the victories of the likes of Mo Farah or Bradley Wiggins, but the “fundamental change in the way much of the world looks at disability”. It said the Paralympics “have swiftly taught us to look beyond disability towards achievement”.
Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper said the games “have given humanity an opportunity to push the limits of human capacity to adapt as evident in the stunning performances of disabled athletes”.
Germany's Zeit daily said: “The British can not only organise, they can celebrate. With seemingly boundless enthusiasm they cheered in the packed stadiums every last runner to finish the Paralympics.”
Australia's Canberra Times said: “Those who admire, respect and are inspired by the magnificent feats of athletes with a disability might reflect on folk who show as much courage, determination and perseverance in their daily personal and professional lives”.
[…] Writing for the Australian newspaper, disabled journalist Melanie Reid marvelled at the unique sights of Paralympic events: “80,000 people falling silent so that a blind long-jumper can sprint into her darkness towards the sound of someone clapping.”
“The sight of a young woman, her body frantic with cerebral palsy, achieving serenity on the back of a horse. The potency of men with no legs turned into gods by the menace of their 30 running blades.”
She concluded that the games had somehow made disability “cool”.
BBC News, 10 September 2012
Compréhension de l'écrit 10 points
Answer the following questions in English, using your own words.
Texts 1 and 2
▶ 1. What do both texts deal with?
▶ 2. What terrible thing happened to the narrator and when?
▶ 3. What happened to him during the PE lesson? Where did he end up?
▶ 4. Why didn't the narrator ask his teacher for more information about how to run in a straight line?
▶ 5. This document is:
a) a newspaper article;
b) a collection of newspaper clips;
c) an extract from the Guinness Book of World Records.
▶ 6. Look at the following expressions: “stunning performances” (l. 11), “boundless enthusiasm” (l. 13), “magnificent feats” (l. 17). Explain in your own words what they show about the general opinion expressed by all media.
▶ 7. How have the London Paralympics changed the perception of disabled people among the public?
Expression écrite 10 points
Vous traiterez en anglais l'un des deux sujets suivants au choix. Répondez en 120 mots au moins.
You are a disabled athlete. Explain why you would like to enter an Olympic competition.
You are in London for the 2012 Paralympic Games. Write an article about the Paralympics and their effects on society.
Les clés du sujet
Compréhension de l'écrit
Comprendre les documents
Préparer sa réponse à la question 7
Pour vous mettre sur la voie, pensez aux expressions citées à la question précédente ainsi qu'aux adjectifs choisis par les journalistes : le ton est enthousiaste, les mots utilisés sont très positifs et ne concernent pas seulement la réaction des médias.
Relevez et analysez les mots liés au thème du changement, de la modification (« fundamental change », « taught us to look beyond disability towards achievement », « to make disability cool ») : ils soulignent une avancée, un enseignement, un enrichissement.
Key ideas. Contrary to preconceived ideas, the words “disabled” and “athlete” are not contradictory. Some disabled people have set ambitious athletic goals and have achieved them, thus turning their handicap into an asset (un atout).
A few tools. This essay is a first-person narrative. After briefly explaining your “story”, explain what motivates you to become a top-level athlete and take part in the Paralympic Games. You have to express strong willpower (volonté), determination and what you will do to achieve your goal.
Key ideas. Since the first Paralympic Games in 1960, disabled athletes have amazed the world by their courage and their accomplishments. The London 2012 Paralympic Games were the largest ever with 4,302 athletes from 14 countries. The public was supportive and the media coverage had never been so important.
A few tools. Think of a catchy headline for your article. Considering the information given above, use powerful words to express your admiration regarding the athletes'extraordinary performances. Explain how it changed people's vision of disabled athletes, seeing them first and foremost as incredible human beings able to perform miracles.
Compréhension de l'écrit
Texts 1 and 2
▶ 1. Both texts deal with disability and sport.
a disability : un handicap disabled : handicapé
blind : aveugle, non voyant
to leave the track : quitter la piste
▶ 2. The narrator suddenly became blind when he was 13 years old.
▶ 3. During the PE lesson, as he was doing a 100m sprint, he left the track and didn't understand his teacher's instructions to run straight. He eventually fell in some bushes, far away from the track.
▶ 4. The narrator didn't ask his teacher for more information because he was embarrassed. Indeed, he was a teenager at the time and all the other pupils seemed to behave as if everything was normal, as if there was nothing to worry about. He felt he shouldn't ask anything and should do like the others.
▶ 5. The document is a collection of newspaper clips.
▶ 6. These expressions show how positive the general opinion is. The public is impressed by the fighting spirit of the disabled sportsmen and women and the high level of the results. Audiences around the world are enthusiastic about the events.
des points en +
Les Jeux paralympiques de 2012 ont suscité un engouement médiatique et populaire sans précédent. La chaîne Channel 4 a éveillé l'intérêt du public avec une remarquable campagne de publicité : Meet the Superhumans.
▶ 7. As a result of the London Paralympics, people are no longer embarrassed by disability. They are supportive and admiring. For many, disability has even become “cool”.
As a child, I was a real daredevil. The only thing that could keep me quiet was watching the Olympic Games and I used to dream that someday I would be an Olympic swimming champion. As a reckless teenager, I had a bad accident that confined me to a wheelchair.
a daredevil : un casse-cou
reckless : imprudent, irréfléchi
sane : sain d'esprit
to achieve a goal = to reach a goal : atteindre un but
it doesn't make you less of an athlete : vous n'en êtes pas moins un athlète
After I recovered from my accident, the only thing that kept me sane was the idea of swimming again. I heard of a man who had become the first French Paralympic swimming champion in 2008; he became my model and doing as well as he did became my goal.
I have been training hard for four years now; I have already taken part in Paralympic competitions but I haven't quite reached an international level yet. However, in 2024, the games will take place in Paris. Not only do I want to achieve my goal but I also want to prove that being disabled doesn't make you less of an athlete or less of a person.
Who is disabled?
London, 10th September 2012
Yesterday, the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games was held in the Olympic Stadium, leaving us with a sense that these so-called disabled athletes we followed for a few days were anything but disabled.
so-called : soi-disant
obvious : évident
an ability : une capacité
Indeed, those Paralympic events were not just captivating games, they were mostly true challenges, remarkable achievements and incredible victories. When we saw a blind long-jumper sprint in her darkness or a sportsman with no-leg run at such speed, we didn't see disabled people but powerful and admirable athletes.
This may be the starting point of some change in our society. The performers who have made us dream can never be considered second-class citizens again. The whole society must benefit from their courage, skills and what we should now call their obvious abilities.
Now that we understand what the Paralympics are really about, we can wonder: who is really disabled? Are they or are we?