'That's my boss'. The words of Sarah Merriman, who has a job in a Central London hotel, commutes to work on her own, has a boyfriend and oh yes, has Down's Syndrome.
|Andy and Sarah Merriman at the book launch
Sarah wants to work and contribute to society. I can't stop thinking of that sentence: 'That's my boss'. In sixteen years of Down's Syndrome advocacy it's the most powerful and positive thing I've heard. Too often, people like my Stan are referred to as 'heartwarming' - with the assumption that smiling and looking cute is all they need to do to have achieved something. But Andy and I want so much more for our offspring.
Tears are not enough
And then I blotted my copybook. I introduced myself to Sarah's boss, who's called Sandor, shook his hand and told him what a powerful moment it was that she was holding the book launch in her workplace. And then, rather less powerfully, I burst into tears in front of Sandor. And hugged him.
But they were tears of relief. Not everyone with Down's is going to get a job or commute on their own, but they all have ambitions and aspirations. I know that Andy's very keen to point out that it's about providing opportunities; let's see what we can all do to support people to fulfil those aspirations.
Just like Sarah has.