The term ‘invisible disabilities’ refers to a wealth of disabilities that are not visible to a stranger on the street. There are several different conditions that can be said to be ‘invisible’ or ‘hidden’, most of which are neurological in nature. These disabilities are not immediately apparent and, as such, may not be obviously disabled. Symptoms of invisible conditions often occur because of birth disorders, injuries, chronic pain, etc.
TYPES OF INVISIBLE DISABILITIES
The spectrum of invisible conditions is so vast that it is impossible to list it all. However, the most common disabilities referred to as ‘invisible’ typically include (but is not limited to):
- ADHD –
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sleep Disorders
- Renal and kidney failure
Invisible disabilities can also include other conditions such as chronic pain, mental illness and chronic dizziness. It is difficult or downright impossible to know whether someone is healthy or has a hidden condition, which can be made more complicated if people with these disabilities choose to not disclose them to their employers, for instance.
There are many people in the UK suffering from invisible conditions, and these figures can help us learn more about their experiences and struggles. For example, around 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability of some kind. In total, there were over 11 million people living with a long term illness, impairment or disability in 2014.
Part of the reason that many people with invisible disabilities choose to not disclose that information is mainly due to social stigma.
IMPACT OF INVISIBLE DISABILITIES
This means that it is crucial to recognise the psychological impact of these conditions. People suffering from disabilities no one else can see might experience the challenge of not being believed when they are going through an exhaustion phase, for example. Other people may not be able to understand the issue as they can’t see physical evidence of it and become impatient or upset.
This can cause stress in someone with invisible disabilities, who may also suffer from discrimination due to their conditions, be it in the workplace or when they’re out and out in their daily lives. There are laws in place to protect against discrimination, such as the Equality Act 2010, which is meant to guard people against discrimination in the workplace.
Of course, the physical effect of these types of conditions is not something that can be ignored either. They may hinder someone’s life to the point that they find it challenging to socialise and may have difficulties in school and at work too.
There is more than one way to talk about invisible disabilities, as they don’t affect everyone the same and there are many conditions that don’t ‘give off’ visible signs. We cater to everyone who needs improved access in their homes, be it because you have a lot of storeys or because you suffer a hidden disability.
Our vast range of lifts are tailored to your specific needs, so you will be able to move around your home a lot easier even if exhausted or suffering from chronic pain, for example. Contact us to learn more about our lifts and we’ll be more than happy to discuss your needs with you.