Letter: Voices of prejudice

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The Independent Online
Sir: My recent experiences confirm the Leonard Cheshire report on attitudes to disabled people ("Disabled shut out by wall of prejudice", 26 May). Following a diagnosis of motor neurone disease at the end of last year, my speech has become affected. This greatly affects the way people who do not know me respond to telephone calls.

I can hear a change when I begin to speak - impatience (some people think I am drunk) or gentle patronage (a response to an assumption that I have learning disabilities). I have, however, identified one benefit - in relation to telephone sales people. A man from the Daily Mail rang the other night. He could not wait for me to explain to him that I was the householder, said peremptorily that he would ring someone else, and put the phone down on me. Bravo!