"So what's wrong with you, I know it's none of my business." He looks at me intently. I've just finished doing a session on rights for Self Advocates in Cambridge. I'm used to this kind of curiousity about my disability. The difference between people with intellectual disabilities is that they will often simply a) flat out ask and b)state that they know they shouldn't ask. I told him, simply, that I can't walk.
'Hmmm,' he said, 'have you ever been able to walk?'
'Oh,' he said puzzling.
'I've been in the wheelchair for about three years.'
'I've always been disabled,' he said, matter of factly.
'And that's ok right?' I asked wanting to affirm that bit of disability pride.
'Yeah, so did anyone teach you how?' he wanted to know.
'To be different.'
'No,' I said.
'They should,' he said and walked away.
You know what? They should.
Here's my challenge to readers, what would the class titles be in a degree course in how to be different? I've got a couple, but I'll let you all go first.