Video Initiative Looks to Make Invisible Disabilities Group’s Mission More Visible
The Invisible Disabilities Association launched its “I Am Invisible No More” video to raise awareness about those living with invisible disabilities. This video is part of a larger initiative to share the stories of people living with these difficulties.
As many as 1 in 10 people are dealing with a medical condition that would be considered an invisible disability, according to a 2015 report [PDF]. To raise awareness of these disabilities—
which include chronic pain and extreme fatigue, among others—and to destigmatize them, the Invisible Disabilities Association launched a video to tell the stories of people struggling with these conditions.
“It really goes back to the founding of invisible disabilities, founded 22 years ago, and it’s about believing people when you can’t see their illness,” said Wayne Connell, founder, president, and CEO of IDA. “An invisible disability is really the invisible symptoms of an illness. It’s those things that other people often do not believe.”
All too often, a person with an invisible disability faces misunderstandings, false perceptions, and judgements because people can’t understand why someone who looks OK on the outside isn’t OK on the inside. The video seeks to bridge that disconnect.
“Most of us are dealing with difficult things in life every day,” Connell said. “Maybe it’s an injury, maybe it’s depression, and sometimes it’s debilitating, and sometimes you can continue on, but we all have a story. We’ve been wanting to do this for years and to help people say, ‘You know what? I am invisible no more. Here’s my story.’”
IDA will also be using the #IAmInvisibleNoMore hashtag in its larger initiative to share the stories of people living daily with invisible disabilities. In February, the group will host a contest, asking people to record and share their own videos on both IDA’s Facebook Page and website. Friends, family, and coworkers can then vote for these stories—and the person whose video receives the most votes will win a trip to IDA’s 11th annual gala in October.
“Our organization’s hope is for everyone to envision a world where people living with illness, pain, and disability will be invisible no more,” Connell said. “So, ultimately, our goal is to help change society’s perception of people living with illness and pain and disability, where it’s OK to share your story, and to not be looked down upon for living with illness.”