For a while now I’ve been trying to define what ‘we’ are. What is the disabled community? On the face of it, we are nothing but a random set of individuals with some odd physical quirks. Often we have nothing in common at all. By all rights, therefore, there should be no ‘us’ at all, and yet there is – emphatically there is. There needs to be in order for us to survive, to achieve equality. We have a thriving community, a strong social network, a profound sense of kindred. Last week I thought this might be politically dangerous in terms of ostracising our selves, but I just realised that it is something deeper than politics.

Perhaps it is belief. Not in any theological sense. It is a belief in ourselves and each other; a belief that, united, we can solve our problems; a belief that, no matter what our differences may be, we are just as good as ANYONE, and that we should have the same rights as anyone It is also a desire to display that belief, and be proud of who you are, and not to have to hide it away. Some people wear crucifixes, for they are not afraid, nor should they be. It just adds to the diversity of the world. People of different faiths live side by side in harmony more often than not; they seldom ostracise each other, or shouldn’t do And, as with any other religion, I feel some people go to greater extremes than others. Should we ban Islam for the actions of al qa’ida? Of course not. Religion can be a force for good or evil; illogical though it may be, it brings out the best in people. the cistine chapel is testimony not to the glory of god, but the glory of man. You may not be able to see what we believe in, or define it, but it is there. It is a belief in ourselves and the community. It gives us hope, courage,, and strength. And I am a convert.

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