Get a Radar Key and Avoid Intrusions into Your (Very) Personal Space.


I recently went with my daughter and son on a trip to an Italian café to celebrate my daughter's birthday. It was an interesting afternoon with her contemplating what it was like to grow up in a family where most of the people in it were disabled. She told me that people have asked her what it was like to have both parents with medical conditions.

Her response was:

"So what? They're just my mum and dad."

Children of disabled parents don't see disability, particularly when some of their siblings are also disabled, and their aunties and uncles and grandfather. I think in our family we might even outnumber the 'abled'. The fabulous thing about that is, that any 'abled' people in such a family grow up to be loving, open-minded members of society who aren't in the least bit prejudiced.

The Yummy Sorbet and Ice Cream we Ate for My Daughter's Birthday

It's a pity then that the woman in the ladies toilet obviously wasn't raised by disabled parents.

I don't have a radar key so most of the time I either ask a member of staff to unlock the door should I feel the call of nature or I just lug my walking device into the regular ladies toilet. On this day I was upbeat about the inspiring conversation that I was immersed in with my 'abled' (but bendy jointed) grown up child.

As I surveyed the room to locate a parking space for my device and walked to the nearest toilet cubicle, a woman suddenly asked if I was okay. I glanced at her and ignored her, irritated at being asked 50 times a day if I'm okay every time I leave the house.

I walked into the cubicle, when she followed me into the toilet cubicle, so close, there was hardly space to turn around. If she had been a man, I would have thought I was about to be raped (not that women can't assault people of course).

I edged round to face her and said

"Excuse me? What are you doing?"

Undeterred, she still didn't back out of my toilet cubicle, instead saying

"Do you need help to turn around?"

Er, I've had children, been married, got a grandson and work from home to earn my own money, manage my own house and live with no other adults and have travelled to eight different countries, sometimes on my own.

"I don't need your help to go to the toilet!" I hissed through gritted teeth . When she stepped back, I slammed the door in her face.

This, I contemplated, is why I should have got a radar key. A person with a disability can't even p**s in peace.

If 'abled' people think that people with disabilities need help going to the toilet, it's no wonder they're so prejudiced and threatened when we have children.


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