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Invisible Disabilities Week

This week, the IDEA Center is wearing blue in support of Invisible Disabilities Week, hosted by the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA). In the US, more than 10% of the population is living with a type of invisible disability, which can be defined as a disability that is not immediately apparent to others.

Living with an invisible disability is very challenging, as the nature of the pain or illness is regularly misunderstood by others since the disability is not clearly apparent.

At the IDEA Center, we recognize the challenges that people who live with invisible disabilities face daily, and we are committed to designing environments that are inclusive and welcoming for all, including those whose challenges are not visible at first sight.

Universal design features not only benefit people with visible disabilities, but also those with invisible disabilities or no disability at all. For example, in shared toilet and bathing rooms, providing lavatory and trash receptacles in private compartments will allow a person who has diabetes to take his or her injection comfortably. Providing daylight in all spaces can positively affect people with depression or circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Providing different types of seating with thoracic and lumbar support features in work stations can help those who have chronic back pain.

Listed below are some of the most common invisible disabilities:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Allergies
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Brain injuries
  • Charcot-­Marie­-Tooth disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food allergies
  • Fructose malabsorption
  • Hereditary Fructose Intolerance
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Narcolepsy
  • Personality disorders
  • Primary immunodeficiency
  • Psychiatric disabilities
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schnitzler’s Syndrome
  • Schizophrenia
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Ulcerative Colitis

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