Some 1.3 billion people (that’s one in seven) in the world have a disability. Many people only consider this to mean visible disabilities such as mobility impairments and blindness. However, it’s believed about 70% of people with disabilities have conditions that are invisible to the outside world.
An invisible disability or hidden disability is a physical, mental or neurological condition that isn’t visible to other people.
People with invisible disabilities may experience things that those with visible disabilities don’t.
Think about someone with an invisible disability in the following scenarios:
- Parking in a space reserved for persons with disabilities. Would you question the validity of their disability?
- Requesting extra time for an exam. Would you wonder whether the claimed disability was legitimate?
- Passing the toilet queue and using the toilet reserved for people with disabilities. Would you query their right to use that toilet?
People with invisible disabilities have to decide when and what information to share with people – that is if they decide to share any information about their disability at all.
And, in any one of the scenarios above they may feel required to share this information to validate their actions.
At Fujitsu we want to redefine stereotypes around people with disabilities and highlight that disabilities can be visible and invisible. That’s why you’ll now see a new sign on all our accessible toilets reminding people that not all disabilities are visible.
This small change is part of Fujitsu’s commitment to being disability confident. We’ve also partnered with Autistica and were one of the first six organisations to sign the Valuable 500 Commitment which puts disability on a board-level agenda.
For us, creating a more inclusive world for people with visible and invisible disabilities is imperative for a more prosperous and inclusive society.
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