To symbolize is to acknowledge representation! I found it comforting knowing a Hidden Disability Universal Symbol was even in existence.
To see is to believe, and being forced to prove you have a medical condition that is not visible has been frustrating, disheartening, and demeaning.
Hidden disability is defined as…
” Those disabilities that cannot be directly identified through observation. They can include cognitive, chronic health, and psychological disabilities.”
FOR THE NUMBER CRUNCHERS….
Here, are some hidden disability stats published in the 2002 US census.
Approximately 7.9 million people 15 and older had difficulty seeing words and letters in ordinary newspaper print, including 1.8 million people who reported being unable to see.
An estimated 7.8 million people 15 and older had difficulty hearing a normal conversation, including approximately 1.0 million who reported being unable to hear.
People with limitation in cognitive functioning or a mental or emotional illness that interfered with their daily activities accounted for 6.4 percent of the population or 14.3 million people.
7.9 million people with one or more selected conditions. (leaning disability; mental retardation; Alzheimer’s disease, senility, or dementia; or other mental or emotional condition).
I support an international symbol for hidden disability for the following reasons…
1. The symbol is an acknowledgment that hidden disabilities do exist.
2. It will create conversation which will bring awareness.
3. It’s a symbol that can be used anywhere… “It can also be used by organizations, such as hospitals and schools, to identify those with hidden disabilities that may require special assistance.”
To learn more about the Hidden Disability Universal Symbol, please check out the Hidden Disability Facebook page.