Friday 23 February 2018

No one wants to be seen as a charity case

Intellectually disabled people want the right to make at least some choices for themselves, says Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

I heard a bunch of adults with intellectual disabilities talk recently. At times it felt like being at a militant Red Wedge meeting during Thatcher's Britain.

These people were articulate and angry. And they didn't want your charity. Their hands were not out; their fists were raised. They wanted their rights. They wanted the right to do what they wanted to do, not what their families or the staff at their services wanted them to do.

They wanted the right to have relationships, to have sex in these relationships, and indeed they wanted the right to have sex outside of relationships if they so desired. They wanted the same thing as all of us. The right to make some of the tens of thousands of little choices that we all take for granted every day.

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