I know that the term Disability (Pathologically) has some negative connotation, but aside from that many people assume that a disability or disorder is tangible and physically inclined. The old saying, ‘Seeing is Believing’ rings true to this dilemma. Why? Because if people only assumed truth by what they saw with their own two eyes and dismissed whatever was ‘invisible’ ‘intangible’ or ‘submissive’ then there would probably be a higher death toll due to several untreated diseases today than the 1918 outbreak of the Spanish Influenza.
With that being said, I’m not making any claim to say that there is an issue of disease control, but when you put that example through the lens of disabilities, think of how much that could effect people. Whatever can be seen in a disability, whether that be speech delay, different facial structure, or physical special needs, those disabilities are often well addressed because they can be seen by the naked eye and in fact they are tangible.
But what about the disabilities that aren’t seen or heard by the naked ears and eyes? What happens to those of us who have (learning, physical, mental) disabilities that are unseen? If society, or the medical world more precisely, were to specifically take a look inside the lens of a disability, condition, or disorder that are often dismissed such as, arthritis and fibromyalgia (which are invisible physical disabilities and medical conditions), several learning disabilities (neurological, processing and developmental attributes mainly), then maybe we would have a better outcome, socially. And maybe if the pathology of these ‘invisible’ disabilities had a cultural component in the sense of awareness and knowledge that a “_____” is actually a real thing, then maybe there would be less ignorance in the world.
Here’s an example for you: I have accommodations for school (I’ve always had them, by the way). Here are the top 5 quotes of ignorance (excluding elementary school…because we were all really ignorant at the time, weren’t we).
- You’re in Spec.ed? But you are smart…
- How come you get _____ and I don’t?
- You’re just lazy!
- (Looks me up and down) I don’t believe you have _____.
- (Rolls eyes) You look normal to me.
I have arthritis, among other things, and because people don’t often see me with a walker or a cast or a sign that says, ‘Disabled’ I’ve been called lazy many times. You know that sign that says, “…Those with disabilities or senior have priority…”? Well, often times I am not given a second glance. So, speak up for yourself because sadly your silent disability cannot do it for you.
If we give awareness to what others cannot see, especially the beauty behind that, then we can show the world what has been made invisible can in fact become immeasurable…but most importantly, visible.
What are your thoughts on the issue? Please comment below!
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