What is an Invisible Disability?
When most people think about someone having a disability, the first thing that they think of is someone in a wheelchair, which is fair because of what society perceives as disability, but disability is a spectrum. Not all disabilities are visible (example mental disabilities).
What doe that have to do with me?
Being legally blind, I still have some remaining vision. I always travel with my cane on me but not always out. As well, I don't use it at school. When I don't have my cane out I'm considered as having an invisbile disability meaning that there is no visible sign that I am disabled. For me, this means that I have to verbal voice that I cannot see, which as you can guess results in some trust issues. When I tell someone that I am disabled (and my cane is not out) people often accuse me of faking my disability.
Why is this an Issue?
This is an issue because it can result in me not getting the assistance of help that I need. It's also just not ok because you can't assume what someone is going through. I know that I constantly have anxiety when my cane out for the fear that people won't believe me or help me when I ask for it. I think that the reason that people second guess if you have a disability is because there are people out there who fake disabilities (which I'd like to state is SO NOT OK). It's the same with service dog users and people putting fake service dog vests on their pets.
Last week I got on the bus (for free because of disability rates here) and someone commented to me "I'm going to get a disability rate so I can get on the bus for free because if you can, I can. You're not disabled." As you can probably already tell, I set him straight.
My main message is if you have an invisible disability, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. AS well, for you abled-bodied people, PLEASE don't assuem that you know what someone is going through and don't fake a disability. Thanks :)