Invisible Disabilities Week runs from 18 to 24 October 2020 and aims to encourage, educate and connect people around non-visible disabilities and conditions. 

Public understanding of disability has often centred around visible disabilities and removing physical barriers within society that effectively ‘disable’ people.

Like other disabled people, non-visibly disabled people and people with long-term health conditions are disabled by the environment around them. However, they have often been overlooked in both accessibility literature and by society. As a result, they often face barriers due to a lack of consideration of and provision for their access requirements.

Many differently disabled people would be considered non-visibly disabled or to have a non-visible long-term health condition. This could include, but would not be limited to:

  • intellectually or learning disabled people.
  • neurodivergent people e.g. autistic people, people with sensory processing disabilities, ADHD, Tourette’s, dyslexia, dyspraxia.
  • people with neurological conditions, e.g. dementia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis.
  • people with mental health issues e.g. depression, bipolar, schizophrenia.
  • other non-visibly disabled people / people with long-term health conditions e.g. endometriosis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, breathing / heart condition.

With the provision of accessible services such as sensory viewing rooms, there have been some promising changes aiming to make football matches accessible for all differently disabled fans, but there is still work to be done. 

To demonstrate our support for this week of action and the non-visibly disabled community, each day we will be sharing highlight statistics and quotes from the CAFE non-visible disabilities and conditions survey report due to be launched next month. 

The survey aimed to learn more about the barriers faced by non-visibly disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, and to gather feedback on the existing matchday services available to this group. 

If you have any questions around the survey, please email CAFE at [email protected] or call +44 (0)208 065 5108.

Published 19/10/2020