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From the sensible to 'insanity' since the 60s

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I do admire your courage in writing about what I term Disabled Access Syndrome (aj 22.7.99). We've gone from a sensible approach in the late 60s to the bureaucratic insanity of the present - when all that was required was a more general application.

What you did not say clearly enough is that this has been brought about by the aggressive (often offensive) campaigning of the single-interest disabled pressure group, aided and abetted by the English obsession with bureaucratic controls.

The first theatre we designed in the late 60s made sensible provision for the disabled; perhaps it was not enough, but it gave access to a raised auditorium and provided facilities for the hard of hearing. Since then, we have designed something like 2000 houses and flats nearly all with flat access on the ground floor, and always with a proportion of dwellings specifically designed for the disabled. All this seemed sensible and did not add unreasonable costs.

Now my sympathies have drained away, which is such a pity. Equally a great pity is that we dare not discuss it openly. I hope you will have let a bit of light in.

Jo Robotham

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