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May is Awareness Month

by Suzy Jacobson May 19, 2018

Invisible illnesses, chronic pain, Dementia, EDSs or Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Brain Injuries, Asthma and Allergy, Arthritis, Celiac Disease, Crohns, Colitis, Cystic Fibrosis, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Huntington's Disease, Lupus, Lyme Disease, Mental Health, Multiple Sclerosis,

May has been Awareness Month for so many invisible illnesses; as well as International Days, National Weeks. I am very certain that the above list is incomplete.

An instagram post written over a disabled partking permit about the difficulty of not looking disabled enough to onlookersMost people with Chronic invisible illnesses fight for knowledge and understanding about the conditions, symptoms and even side effects which can isolate sufferers. There is a social stigma for many when they put up the disability parking sign and get abused by onlookers for not being in a wheelchair. Or even just for looking too young because the most common societal recognition of disability is for aged people. The prevailing stereotypes also assume that disabled people are mentally incompetent; even extends to the governments of many U.S. states. Where citizens are stripped of their voting rights by judges. Who in many cases, automatically tick a box without ever meeting the person they just assume has lost mental faculties just by losing physical abilities and requiring a full time carer. (source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-bishop-disability-voters_us_5af5b085e4b0e57cd9f9042f)

The fear of abuse by disabled who look able bodied, even extends to Disabled Toilet Facilities. Able bodied people with Osteotomy bags, pouches, and other continence aids have valid reasons for needing to use the facilities but if confronted may not feel safe enough to use them.

Just because you can't see the disability does not make it any less valid. What is sad is that there remain healthy people who feel entitled to use what limited disability facilities exist. These are the ones who make it hardest for disabled. Even disabled users of facilities will comment, to me, that there are never enough disabled facilities in place to meet demand.

Sadly, there remains too many able bodied, no-disabled people who continue to see the disabled as having too many benefits and facilities, because they have no understanding or compassion for the pain, agony and mental anguish chronic medical conditions cause.

Suzy Jacobson
Suzy Jacobson


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