...a clear message: The emancipation movement for people with disabilities has reached a new level. For years, the focus was primarily on accepting their particular differences, making daily life livable by installing curb cuts and auditory cues at crosswalks. Now it's far more a matter of accepting their normalcy.
One example is a billboard that can be seen around Berlin at the moment, promoting inclusion in the form of mainstreamed school classes including both disabled and able-bodied children. The image shows a boy in a wheelchair, and a girl without one. The two are clearly already close, love in the air, and a kiss between these two attractive teenagers seems inevitable. Just as clear is that it will be a kiss between equals.
In fact, this hints at the next stage to come in the emancipation movement: Not only can people with disabilities be equal to able-bodied people, they may also enjoy certain advantages. Wolfgang Schäuble doesn't need to impress his sincerity upon voters -- his wheelchair, a reminder that he was the victim of an assassination attempt in 1990 while on the campaign trail, does that for him.
That's just one small factor, though, and one Schäuble surely would be happy to do without it were he to regain his mobility. The matter of special advantage was a much larger factor Pistorius' case, leading to long debates over whether he should be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes, or if his prosthetics gave him an unfair advantage. The sprinters at the Paralympics, with their cool pride and elegant strides, very nearly gave the impression that this could be the start of a new avant garde: the power of disability.