Paralympics wheelchair access row

A woman who uses a wheelchair has launched a campaign after claiming she is not allowed to sit with her children at the Paralympic Games.

Beth Davis-Hofbauer, 32, began an online petition after the Paralympics ticket office told her on Monday that only one person could accompany her in the wheelchair area at the Velodrome.

As her husband Edward is also her carer, it would mean that her autistic four-year-old son Milo and 19-month-old daughter Amelia would have to sit separately.

Mrs Davis-Hofbauer said the "discrimination" had made her feel sub-human, adding: "I'm sick of being treated like a second-class citizen."

She said: "My son wanted to go and see the track cycling because he is obsessed with bikes, so we called the box office to book four tickets for the Velodrome.

"I was told that it was policy that people in wheelchairs could only go with one carer, and that this was the case in every Paralympic venue. I asked if the children could sit on our laps, but was told that this was not policy."

Mrs Davis-Hofbauer, who lives in Hampshire and runs her own business, said that since starting her campaign she had been contacted by many other people who were experiencing the same problem.

A spokesman for the 2012 Paralympics said: "We have in place a scheme with a wheelchair space and another space for a carer. In cases where people want to bring more members of their family, we will try to sort it out and sit people near to each other where possible.

"We will do what we can to help people out and we understand people want to experience the Paralympics together. But although we are trying to facilitate people bringing their family, it depends on the availability of tickets and the demand for them.

"At this late stage, with the Paralympics due to start in two weeks' time, there are not many available and we cannot create seats from nowhere.