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When we think about the word ‘disability’, it’s often physical conditions that are instantly recognisable that spring to mind. In fact, 50% of people in the UK think of disability as a physical impairment. However, hundreds of millions of people across the globe suffer from physical, mental or neurological conditions that are not always obvious to the outside world.
Just like a visible disability, an invisible disability limits a person’s movements and senses, which can in turn affect activities and their ability to get around. These limitations may not be immediately apparent to onlookers, and as such, people with hidden disabilities face unique challenges.
In recent years, organisations such as the Invisible Disabilities Association have put awareness at the front and centre of their efforts. This guide to understanding invisible disabilities is a great starting point for those looking to find out more about what it means to live with a hidden condition.
There is a huge range of different disabilities. Under the Equality Act 2010, a disability is defined as a condition that substantially impairs the ability to complete everyday activities in the long term. This definition covers both visible disabilities and those that are invisible to the naked eye.
The Equality Act 2010 is an important piece of legislation that supports the rights of disabled people by giving legal protection against discrimination. It emphasises the legal duty on education providers, employers and service providers to make reasonable adjustments so that disabled people can take part in education, use services and work.
Just because a condition is hidden does not mean that it is any less severe. For example, some people with a hearing impairment may not always wear a hearing aid, or the hearing aid may not be obvious. Similarly, those with chronic pain may not use mobility aids, but they are still disabled.
Discussing some of the challenges that people with invisible disabilities face can make a huge difference. For a long time, disabilities have been thought of as requiring a wheelchair or other forms of physical aid. This can be challenging, as those that suffer from invisible conditions can sometimes struggle to gain recognition as ‘disabled’.
Today, our attitudes are beginning to change. We are becoming increasingly more aware of invisible disabilities in the media. But invisible conditions demand a new way of approaching disability. It’s time we view disability as something which is not defined by external appearances.
There are many reasons why broadening our understanding of invisible disabilities is beneficial. Although a person’s physical or mental limitations might not at first be obvious, creating space for disabled people to share their issues without judgement encourages positive change.
Good education and increased awareness are paramount in order to make society a more accessible place for everyone.
Invisible disabilities can make daily life difficult for many people. They can affect many things such as the ability to drive, and can impair everyday activities like taking a shower.
At TrustFord, we understand that everyone is different. Our award-winning Motability Specialists have helped thousands of disabled people to lease a Ford vehicle through the Motability Scheme so that they can get on the roads and enjoy a better quality of life.
For an epileptic child, this could mean having a car for a much-needed family holiday, or for a cancer patient, it could be a car to drive to hospital appointments. Whatever the reason, the Motability Scheme makes life with an invisible disability that little bit easier.
To find out how you might be eligible for the scheme, why not give us a call or visit one of our local dealerships. For further information, you can also check out our Motability Explained section.
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