Have you ever heard of Invisible Disabilities? Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not real.
Whether you haven't heard about this before, or you wish to delve deeper into this event and know more, just keep reading. This article, hopefully, will answer the 5 big questions around this term.
What is an invisible disability?
‘Invisible disability’, which can also be referred to as ‘non-visible’ or ‘hidden disability’, are not immediately apparent / obvious when looking at someone.
They can be physical, mental or neurological and include, but are not limited to, autism and Asperger syndrome, cognitive impairments such as learning difficulties and dementia, as well as mental health conditions (depression, anxiety...) and speech, sight loss, hearing loss, or deafness.
Invisible disabilities can also include symptoms such as chronic pain, asthma, fibromyalgia, diabetes, fatigue, dizziness, and sleep disorders when these significantly impact day-to-day life.
How many invisible disabilities are there?
Globally 1 in 7 of us live with a disability. And of those, 80% are invisible. That is 1 billion people who are living with a non-visible disability.
When is Invisible Disabilities Week celebrated?
This year’s Invisible Disabilities Week will take place between 16-22 October 2022.
It was first founded in 2014 by the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA)
Why is Invisible Disabilities Week celebrated?
This event is held to help bring invisible disability awareness in the UK and around the world. It allows people to understand the different types of conditions that people have to manage on a daily basis. People can become more accepting of others and aware of their needs, which can break down barriers and unhealthy stereotypes relating to these conditions. (Go to "But You LOOK Good!" book)
It can help people to feel valued, and give them a voice if they feel they’re not represented in society or listened to. It can also give them the confidence to seek support in public places or while travelling, as more companies are training staff on how to help people with invisible disabilities.
Where can you find useful resources?
The Invisible Disabilities Week website carries lots more information about seminars and events for Invisible Disabilities Week.
Action Hearing Loss offers some helpful information for deaf people and those who support them.
Do your loved ones have a hard time understanding your chronic illness or pain because to them you look fine?
But You LOOK Good! is a convenient, informative way to educate everyone about what people living with ongoing illness and pain struggle with, fight for and need from their friends and family. It is easy to read, gives practical ideas on how loved ones can be supportive, and is short enough to keep the readers interested.
This book is an important tool for caregivers, family and friends to help explain the extreme fatigue, pain, dizziness, cognitive impairments and other symptoms - it gives them simple, pragmatic ways to truly be an encouragement, what to say, what not to say and how to help.
We hope this article has brought some light and helps to clarify some of the most common questions.
Do you have a non-visible disability? Please, feel free to share your story, challenges, frustrations and triumphs with us!