LETTER : A name for the mentally ill

W ALAN Heaton-Ward's letter makes me realise, as a disabled person, how far we all still have to go in even recognising disability. I offer two points. The first is that the issue is not with the word "mentally" but "handicapped", which is seen by a majority of people as negative and derogatory. The second is that the phrase "learning disabilities" focuses on the social rather than medical basis of such disabilities, something that disabled people want, and that it has been widely accepted for years.

John Knight

Policy Development Officer

Leonard Cheshire Foundation