Last night, a friend and fellow campaigner received some truly vile e-mails from someone with utterly despicable views.
Just because she is asking councils and big businesses to become inclusive by installing a hoist and changing table in their disabled toilets.
Those e-mails are not mine to share, they are in the hands of the police, but they made me think.
They suggested that my friend’s beautiful child should have been “allowed to die”.
Quite what of, I am not sure.
Children with disabilities are most often not actually ill. My own son was not ill at birth. It was not clear till he was older that his difficulties would affect him so significantly -just as none of us knows if we will be affected by any of the enormous number of conditions which can cause disabilities.
I know a great many disabled people. I have met them whilst abseiling and rock climbing and have even watched my own son pilot a plane (with help). No time for dying, thanks! Way too much to do yet.
I watched a lot of disabled athletes in the Paralympic games and didn’t see that any of them looked desperately poorly, let alone that they need to be “allowed to die”. Not sure they have time for dying either, they all looked rather busy.
I am sure that we all marvel at what Professor Stephen Hawking offers the world and are very grateful that he has been able to continue to live his life and use his mind to solve the many mysteries of the universe and to inspire other scientists.
Sure, not every disabled person is going to have the ability of Professor Hawking but neither do most able bodied people!
But we do have to face up to the reality every day that there are a few awful people who consider disabled people to live lives which are worth less than that of an able bodied person.
It hurts. But we must not let those few awful voices stop us from standing up for what is right.
My son is excelling in life. He has friends, he loves and is loved and he brings joy to many people. He makes people think about life and is helping to bring positive change. He has the enthusiasm to make the world better and he is doing something about it.
Imagine how great the world could be if every adult had his enthusiasm for doing the right thing!
Children have a wonderful way of looking at life. When you ask a child do something to help others they will virtually always do it without question, just because it is the right thing to do.
And that is what my son cannot understand.
He is merely asking adults to do the right thing.
One day, when it is you who requires a hoist to get on the toilet, you may thank him for informing businesses and councils of what is required.
You might be glad that I asked you to sign this petition.
Because one day, it really might be you.
Surely “disabled toilets” should be usable by disabled people?