International Day of People with Disabilities 2020

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BlinkyBill
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Hey everyone,

Thursday 3rd of December is International Day of People with Disabilities. You can read all about it here.

On December 3 this year, during the annual celebration of people with disabilities, the 2020 theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ also focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.

According to the WHO World Report on Disability, 15 per cent of the world’s population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition— and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination and neglect. Another 69 million individuals are estimated to sustain Traumatic Brain Injuries each year worldwide, while one in 160 children are identified as on the autism spectrum.

These are just some examples of the millions of people currently living with a disability that is not immediately apparent, and a reminder of the importance of removing barriers for all people living with disability, both visible and invisible.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disconnect, disrupted routines and diminished services have greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities right around the world. Spreading awareness of invisible disabilities, as well as these potentially detrimental— and not always immediately apparent— impacts to mental health, is crucial as the world continues to fight against the virus. (source)


On TSR there is an amazing community of students with disabilities. You can join the TSR Disabled Students Society, or check out the Disability chat thread. We also have the Disabled Students forum.


If you're a person with a disability (visible or invisible), are there things you wish people understood better about you and the way you experience the world?

Are there particular things that are helpful/supportive, or really *unhelpful/unsupportive*?

In general, are the experiences of young people with disabilities spoken about enough?
Last edited by BlinkyBill; 1 month ago
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OxFossil
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Hey everyone,

Today is International Day of People with Disabilities. You can read all about it here.

On December 3 this year, during the annual celebration of people with disabilities, the 2020 theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ also focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.

According to the WHO World Report on Disability, 15 per cent of the world’s population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition— and two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination and neglect. Another 69 million individuals are estimated to sustain Traumatic Brain Injuries each year worldwide, while one in 160 children are identified as on the autism spectrum.

These are just some examples of the millions of people currently living with a disability that is not immediately apparent, and a reminder of the importance of removing barriers for all people living with disability, both visible and invisible.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disconnect, disrupted routines and diminished services have greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities right around the world. Spreading awareness of invisible disabilities, as well as these potentially detrimental— and not always immediately apparent— impacts to mental health, is crucial as the world continues to fight against the virus. (source)


On TSR there is an amazing community of students with disabilities. You can join the TSR Disabled Students Society, or check out the Disability chat thread. We also have the Disabled Students forum.


If you're a person with a disability (visible or invisible), are there things you wish people understood better about you and the way you experience the world?

Are there particular things that are helpful/supportive, or really *unhelpful/unsupportive*?

In general, are the experiences of young people with disabilities spoken about enough?
Well, putting the concept of "reasonable adjustments" in law has been a step forward. But of course, it still assumes that the norm is to design things that need not be fully accessible in the first place. I'm sure lots of disabled young people are still excluded from normal social settings by things like music venues that designate the back of the venue as the "disabled seating" when all they are is a space next to the doors that no-one else wants to sit in.

Otherwise, it's hard to think of much beyond the COVID crisis. And that has kind of epitomised the current situation. On the plus side, there were a few concessions to the "extremely vulnerable" and those early neighbourhood networks might have prompted some people to think about the needs of their disabled neighbours. But there's been a lot of negative stuff. One would be that chilling disclosure at the start of the COVID pandemic that many disabled people would be considered as low priority when allocating limited ICU beds. Combined with fact that Boris didn't bother with a signer during his early TV briefings, the repeated "reassurances" that most deaths were in people "with underlying health conditions" made it clear we didn't really count.

On the plus side, I have hope that post-COVID, a lot of workplaces will realise they don't need to insist on a lot of conditions that effectively exclude many disabled people eg having to commute into an office every day.
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04MR17
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If you're a person with a disability (visible or invisible), are there things you wish people understood better about you and the way you experience the world?

I wish people understood some basic "asking questions about your disability" etiquette. The number of people who've asked me about my disability by trying to guess how it happened is quite astonishing. Alongside "woah that's so weird". Luckily I am not usually offended by this sort of thing as I'm quite open about my disability and am often quite jokey about it. But I know a lot of other people who really aren't as confident about their physical disabilities and this kind of questioning can sometimes come across as really insensitive.

Are there particular things that are helpful/supportive, or really *unhelpful/unsupportive*?

Consider whether now is a good time to talk about it. Can it wait until a more suitable time / place?
Also me telling you doesn't always mean it's appropriate for you to tell other people. In the past I've had... "I told my parents about your ear and they had loads of questions and I didn't know the answers". Well duh, because you don't have enough information or experience to have that discussion properly. My disability shouldn't really be an object for you to bring to a conversation with other people.

In general, are the experiences of young people with disabilities spoken about enough?


Put bluntly, no.
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tinygirl96
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Not really in my experience. Let us change that for the better.
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summerberry19
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I have a lot of respect for people with disabilities.
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DiddyDec
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This year I have finally accepted that I am in fact disabled, something I have been in denial about for quite some time. It is largely invisible other than my wrist brace that I do my best to hide.

Are there particular things that are helpful/supportive, or really *unhelpful/unsupportive*?

Something that does really get on my tits is people suggesting treatments or even cures for what is a chronic and incurable condition. I realise that it comes from a good place but there is very little that can actually be done.

It would nice if people understood that just because I seemed fine yesterday does not mean I was fine nor that I will be fine today. I have good days and bad days often completely randomly.

In general, are the experiences of young people with disabilities spoken about enough?

No.
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josie71202
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The number of people who have said I should try paracetamol for my chronic pain then get annoyed when I say it doesn't work
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BlinkyBill
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(Original post by OxFossil)
Well, putting the concept of "reasonable adjustments" in law has been a step forward. But of course, it still assumes that the norm is to design things that need not be fully accessible in the first place. I'm sure lots of disabled young people are still excluded from normal social settings by things like music venues that designate the back of the venue as the "disabled seating" when all they are is a space next to the doors that no-one else wants to sit in.

Otherwise, it's hard to think of much beyond the COVID crisis. And that has kind of epitomised the current situation. On the plus side, there were a few concessions to the "extremely vulnerable" and those early neighbourhood networks might have prompted some people to think about the needs of their disabled neighbours. But there's been a lot of negative stuff. One would be that chilling disclosure at the start of the COVID pandemic that many disabled people would be considered as low priority when allocating limited ICU beds. Combined with fact that Boris didn't bother with a signer during his early TV briefings, the repeated "reassurances" that most deaths were in people "with underlying health conditions" made it clear we didn't really count.

On the plus side, I have hope that post-COVID, a lot of workplaces will realise they don't need to insist on a lot of conditions that effectively exclude many disabled people eg having to commute into an office every day.
I read a blog the other day written by a person with a disability who was saying she was worried about Australia coming back out of lockdown, as it might mean a lot of the positive changes that have happened for her during the pandemic (in terms of work), may be reversed as 'normal' returns. I hope you're right and that isn't the case.

On the music venue point, I clocked this article yesterday, talking about guidelines for gigs and venues in terms of accessibility. Will be interesting to see what happens with this.

I hear you about the challenges of the pandemic, but I can only imagine how it must feel. Gosh it'd be so nice if a nice thing to come out of the pandemic would be a more inclusive world.

(Original post by 04MR17)
If you're a person with a disability (visible or invisible), are there things you wish people understood better about you and the way you experience the world?

I wish people understood some basic "asking questions about your disability" etiquette. The number of people who've asked me about my disability by trying to guess how it happened is quite astonishing. Alongside "woah that's so weird". Luckily I am not usually offended by this sort of thing as I'm quite open about my disability and am often quite jokey about it. But I know a lot of other people who really aren't as confident about their physical disabilities and this kind of questioning can sometimes come across as really insensitive.

Are there particular things that are helpful/supportive, or really *unhelpful/unsupportive*?

Consider whether now is a good time to talk about it. Can it wait until a more suitable time / place?
Also me telling you doesn't always mean it's appropriate for you to tell other people. In the past I've had... "I told my parents about your ear and they had loads of questions and I didn't know the answers". Well duh, because you don't have enough information or experience to have that discussion properly. My disability shouldn't really be an object for you to bring to a conversation with other people.

In general, are the experiences of young people with disabilities spoken about enough?


Put bluntly, no.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I've heard similar comments from others too.

On the talking about it piece, have you ever had any ideas of what things could make a difference to this?
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glassalice
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If you're a person with a disability (visible or invisible), are there things you wish people understood better about you and the way you experience the world?

Autistic people don't have a 'hive mind'. We are individuals, we have individual likes & dislikes, individual strengths and weaknesses.
For example, for me, feeling forced to follow a structure makes me feel extremely anxious. This probably goes against everything you thought you knew about ASD.

Are there particular things that are helpful/supportive, or really *unhelpful/unsupportive*?
Never call me differently-abled (or similar). I have a disability, there is nothing offensive about that.
Don't assume something will be useful to me just because it has been helpful to someone else with the same condition.

In general, are the experiences of young people with disabilities spoken about enough?
No.
Most people have very little understanding of what it might be like to have a disability and more harmfully they won't admit this to themselves.

Many factions of the autistic community only want to talk about a very slim range of autistic presentations (for example, you aren't even allowed to mention autistic people with 'low empathy' (not me) within the actually autistic community).
I wonder if a similar thing happens with other disabilities?
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tinygirl96
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Sadly some carers need more training.
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glassalice
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(Original post by tinygirl96)
Sadly some carers need more training.
Would Rep you X1000 if I could.
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