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Problems of disability should not be dismissed

I read with some surprise Austin Williams' comment on the poem by a poet with cerebral palsy (AJ 28.8.3, 'Minority Report'). The poet's last line reads: 'Your attitude to people with disability may be our biggest handicap.' Mr Williams' response was: 'Er. I'm sorry, but I don't think so.'

My older brother was born with Downe's Syndrome, which resulted in physical and mental handicap. Throughout our childhood and teens I was his 'minder', and observed first hand how he developed strategies for dealing with his disabilities, but was hampered time and again by wellmeaning or ignorant people who wouldn't listen until the end of his stammered sentences, talked over his head, and did things for him which he could and wanted to manage himself.

The poet I quoted seems to have had a similar experience, but Mr Williams' dismissal of this problem sounds like the able-bodied assuming that they know better than the disabled what the limiting factors of life with disability are. Er, I'm sorry, but I don't think they do.

Jacky R Sinclair, product manager, Union Architectural Hardware

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