Author Topic: Visable or Hidden Disability..?  (Read 4515 times)

primus58

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Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« on: September 15, 2012, 10:37:10 PM »
Hi All,

This is just a simple poll to see if there are more people with a hidden disability than those that are visable...
Ulcerative Colitis... just add a pinch of Humour and you'll be fine!

I work for the Ministry of Justice, and am a Executive Committee member of the department's Disability Network... and I am also Union Disability Rep

Peggythepirate

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2012, 09:44:56 AM »
Things aren't that cut and dried between 'visible' and 'invisible'.

For example, you could have a mobility impairment that is only visible to others if you run or when you're tired. You could have an impairment which is visible if you wear short sleeves  or shorts. It might only be visible if you wear a swimming costume but you may or may not be the type of person who ever wishes to wear a swimming costume. You could have an 'invisible' impairment which is completely obvious to anyone who observes your behaviour or is apparent to more discerning people. You can also have a very 'visible' impairment that, in fact, doesn't disable you (except in other people's minds).

oldtone27

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2012, 10:37:25 AM »
I would ask an even more fundamental question 'What's a disability?'

Seriously is there a legal or even accepted definition of disability?

Peggythepirate

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2012, 12:36:10 PM »
Quote
Seriously is there a legal or even accepted definition of disability?

The Disability Discrimination Act, now the Equalities Act 2010, says:

‘A person (P) has a disability if—
(a)P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b)the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’

See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/6.

There is also the definition used for claiming DLA – soon to be changed when PIP comes in.
These are only definitions for particular purposes.

oldtone27

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 12:59:57 PM »
Thanks Peggy, but para.

a) really only substitutes 'impairment' for 'disability'.

b) is still a bit vague as 'substantial' is not a very precise definition.

I suppose the law is deliberately left vague so that it can be determined on a case by case basis if necessary.

Furthermore I appreciate that in the mind of authorities 'disability' is determined by particular tests for particular purposes such a work assessment or benefit but it just got me thinking at what point does a person, or for that matter society, think they are disabled?

seegee

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 02:58:13 PM »
Difficult question, primus.

I am told that my walk is visibly lopsided now, but that very rarely causes any difficulty (and people who didn't know me earlier in life either don't notice or don't think a bit of a limp worth comment).

At the end of an hour or two interacting with people face-to-face or much less time via phone, I'm visibly/ audibly tired & washed-out - that's way short of average limits before hitting the fatigue wipeout.  I actually used to spend 37+ hours a week working with people then go out to socialise with more people, just like lots of other average folk.  >yikes<
Anyone who converses with me for some time, or on a few occasions, will probably notice that my memory is poor, though maybe not have much idea just how poor until the 5th time they've reminded me of their name...  >lol<

So it's visible/ noticeable, but certainly not at a glance - it certainly ain't hidden, though; I gave up hiding it as a silly thing to do some time ago.  If I hide it people expect me to be as capable as first appearances may suggest & it's kinder to disabuse them early. >biggrin<

Monic1511

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012, 07:09:13 PM »
My epilepsy is only visible when Im having a seizure but since I don't have tonic clonics(the fall down and thrash about type) folk think Im just dunk, so do you call that visible or hidden?
Monic

xSparksx

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2012, 08:19:32 PM »
I have M.E., which is invisible, but it can become visible when I lack the energy to walk. It's a difficult thing to delineate.

sherbs

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 08:49:37 PM »
I answered "both" as i have a visible disability and also an invisible one

devine63

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 11:09:55 PM »
Hi Primus

if you use a search engine to find the UK Labour Force surveys you should find the most up to date data available on the the number of disabled people in the UK - it's about 19% of the working age population (16 - 60 apparently).


Old Tone -

"a) really only substitutes 'impairment' for 'disability'."

That is because they wanted to try to draw on the social model, at least to some extent.    But mainly (a) is vital because it means no one can try to pretend that the law only applies to physical impairments and not to mental impairments (which includes psychiatric conditions and learning disability and cognitive impairments such as those which result from brain injury).


"b) is still a bit vague as 'substantial' is not a very precise definition."

SUbstantial is only defined as "more than minor or trivial".
"Long term" means has already lasted, or is expected to last, at least a year.

"I suppose the law is deliberately left vague so that it can be determined on a case by case basis if necessary."
Yes - they didn't want to try and construct a list of conditions (there are thousands and the list would need to be added to every month).  The very first question in any court case or tribunal is "is the complainant disabled?".   Caselaw has confirmed that dyslexia and type 2 diabetes (even when only treated by diet) and all kinds of other conditions all "count", as "disabilities".

"Furthermore I appreciate that in the mind of authorities 'disability' is determined by particular tests for particular purposes such a work assessment or benefit but it just got me thinking at what point does a person, or for that matter society, think they are disabled?"

The criteria for the WCA / ESA or for personal care needs or various other things are not included in the Equality ACt, those other things are for specific purposes.

In my experience most people don't "think through" the definition of disability - they are unlikely to associate the word disability with anything other than using a wheelchair - very occasionally they stretch as far as deafness or blindness being disabilities ...

regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]

Sofie

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 08:40:36 PM »
In my experience most people don't "think through" the definition of disability - they are unlikely to associate the word disability with anything other than using a wheelchair - very occasionally they stretch as far as deafness or blindness being disabilities ...

regards, Deb

On the R.N.I.B. forum, there was a parent who took her child who is deafblind to a theme park or something. She tried to that thing so they didn't have to queue / don't have to queue for long periods. It was refused (despite D.L.A. award letter) because he's supposedly not disabled... >steam<

Otter

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 09:20:36 PM »
perhaps not the legally accepted definition of what disability is

but...

disability is the concept that allows ables to define themselves as able, without us there would be no them
--
disability is the current term in a long list which has stetched back into time, for the right to discriminate in a nonesensical way
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my life is poo because I am disabled by society, your life as an able is poo, because you're poo
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there is no disabled people or able people just capable people, so tell me why you need to define you and me with these terms

AccessOfficer

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2012, 03:18:07 PM »
The recently updated definition of disability can be found on the E.H.R.C website on the following link:
http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/EqualityAct/odi_equality_act_guidance_may.pdf

Best wishes
AO

SunshineMeadows (on Sabbactical)

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2012, 07:00:35 PM »
I decided on the basis that when I am in the wheelchair or moving about people can see I am disabled but when I am sat in an ordinary chair I have been mistaken for able bodied. Also other conditions like Trigeminal Neuralgia and Menieres Disease are in my head and it takes a more observatant person to see the colour of my eyes has changed from mostly brown to grey blue or someone who knows that I can be a gregarious a happy go lucky fluffy bunny when not too dizzy or have a side of my face and eye burning in pain.

Sorry for the loss of 'complete coherance' I let Mr Sunshine help me cook a meal earlier  >erm< and spent a few hours sorting paper work into folders this afternoon  >whistle<

I am a bit foggy now, like a drunk person trying to put on their shoes.  >blush<




seegee

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Re: Visable or Hidden Disability..?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2012, 10:16:07 AM »
Francesca Martinez says she used to sit quietly & unmoving while others were dancing (for example in a nightclub), with the idea that she may seem enigmatic/ mysterious and men would want to find out more about her & approach... the only trouble being that when they did she was unable to respond to any of them without giving away the hidden disability (she has CP & moving voluntary muscles shows it).  >biggrin<  Those who didn't go away thinking she was (a) very drunk or (b) too embarassing to be seen with might be worth finding out more about.  ;-)