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We disabled aren't going to disapppear

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letters

I feel I must reply to Austen Redman's response to my letter regarding disabled access and pedestrianisation (aj 9.9.99).

Mr Redman seems to think that disabled people should be excluded from the centre of London, as we rather seem to spoil everybody else's convenience. I don't see why I should up roots, leave my home and city, family and friends and move to a totally strange part of the country simply because I can't walk very far. This clearly is a very dangerous argument to take. Should all disabled people move to a specially designed ghetto, perhaps with communal showers and defective plumbing? I realise life would be easier for the rest of you if we disappeared, but wouldn't that be an admission of failure not to be able to incorporate our needs along with others, as Louis Hellman described? I never say that it is easy. There are many kinds of disability, often with conflicting needs (eg those bumps at pedestrian crossings for the blind make me trip up; and blind people cannot see ramps added for wheelchair users). But isn't that a challenge? I hesitate to suggest that pollution and traffic congestion would be significantly improved if the only cars that were allowed to park in central London were those used by the disabled, as we would probably all be mugged tomorrow for our Orange badges!

Roy Mittens, London N8

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