By Tom Degun at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London 

Ellie Simmonds_survey_picture_Sept_8September 8 - According to a new survey, two thirds of viewers that watched Channel 4's coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics feel it has had a favourable impact on their perceptions towards people with disabilities.

As London 2012 draws to a close, Paralympic host broadcaster Channel 4 have revealed the results of the survey carried out for them by BDRC Continental and YouGov.

The survey reveals the impact of the Games on perceptions of disability and Paralympic sport in the UK.

While 65 per cent now feel more positive towards disabled people, more than four in five adults, 82 per cent, agreed disabled athletes are as talented as able-bodied athletes.

This figure rose to 91 per cent among those who had watched Channel 4's Games coverage on television.

Almost two thirds of adults, 64 per cent, agreed that the Paralympics is as good as the Olympics, rising to 79 per cent among those who had watched Channel 4, while 68 per cent felt the coverage of the Paralympics has had a positive impact on their perceptions of disabled sport.

In addition, around two in three viewers, 69 per cent, said this is the first time they have made an effort to watch the Paralympics, with 50 per cent saying this is the first Paralympics they have ever watched.

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Over two thirds, 67 per cent, said they watched more than they expected to.

"Over the last week and a half, the superhuman achievements of the elite athletes at the London 2012 Paralympic Games have captivated the British public," said Channel 4's chief creative officer Jay Hunt.

"I'm delighted that we've been able to bring a new audience to the Paralympics and, more importantly, that our coverage has played a part in delivering a lasting legacy in changing people's perceptions of both disability and disabled sport."

By the time the Closing Ceremony concludes tomorrow evening, Channel 4 will have broadcast almost 500 hours of coverage, an increase of 400 per cent on the Beijing 2008 Paralympics.

Their coverage has brought record audiences to Channel 4, with coverage having already reached 37 million people across the Games.

The Opening Ceremony (scene pictured above) was watched by a peak audience of 11.2 million viewers – Channel 4's biggest audience in over 10 years – while Jonnie Peacock's (pictured below) gold medal win in the T44 100 metres on "Thriller Thursday" attracted the biggest ever Paralympic sports audience in the UK with a peak of 6.3 million viewers.

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The Paralympics coverage has helped Channel 4 average an all-day share of 11.6 per cent across the nine days of the Games – up by 82 per cent on the channel's 12 month average, while there have been over 228,000 downloads of Channel 4's Paralympics app and over 5.5 million page views on mobile devices.

Channel 4 has also identified, trained and developed ten new disabled presenters and reporters who have played major roles in their Games coverage and 80 per cent of viewers enjoyed the fact that there were disabled presenters on screen for the Paralympics.

Almost three quarters of the audience, 74 per cent, agreed that they enjoyed the matter of fact discussions about disability while 83 per cent agreed they know more about Paralympic sports and that they are more familiar with disabled athletes as a result of watching Channel 4's coverage.

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