JS40191512-1GLASGOW will host the most disability-friendly Commonwealth Games ever this year.

The city will welcome more than 350 disabled athletes and more than 10,000 spectators with specific access needs over the fortnight of the Games.

And officials have been working since the city was chosen as the venue in 2007 to make sure they are properly catered for.

There are more sports for the disabled and better access to venues and, for the first time, the para-sports will count towards the main medal table.

Venues were put to the test by disabled reviewers from Euan’s Guide, a website set up by motor neurone disease sufferer Euan MacDonald and his sister Kiki to assess the accessibility of venues and other places.

Kiki said: “In and around the venues was generally very good.

“It was surprising that the most successful venue for us was Tollcross, which is one of the oldest venues but had been really well adapted.

“The Emirates was slightly more mixed, because the signs were quite tricky and the barriers sometimes made it hard to see from the viewing platforms.

“But on the whole, the access was very good.”

Cycling makes its debut as a para-sport this summer and any victories from our disabled competitors will now sit next to those of Scotland’s successful cycling team, thanks to the merging of the medal tables.

Scottish Cycling head of performance Gary Coltman said: “We are delighted that para-cycling is included at the 2014 Glasgow Games, for the first time in Commonwealth history.

“The home games are an opportunity of a lifetime for the Scottish riders involved, who are all unbelievably committed and determined to make Scotland proud.

“We are all thrilled about the opportunity Glasgow provides to contribute to the further growth and future success of our wonderful sport.”

While the venues might have received good reviews, there are still questions surrounding transport for disabled people at the Games.

Glasgow 2014’s Accessible Transport Strategy laid out plans to meet access requirements, with one of the main issues being to ensure that access was as efficient for disabled ticketholders as it would be for non-disabled people.

However, the reviewers from Euan’s Guide found that with under a month to go until the start of the games, they still had unanswered questions about how to get around the city.

Kiki said: “There’s still a question over transport.

“They’ve suggested that they might use buggies to help move wheelchair users, but a few of our reviewers still have concerns over the plans.

“The transport has definitely definitely become more of a concern than the access at the venues themselves.”

Daily Record