It’s estimated that 90% of Australians living with disability have the kind that are impossible to see from the surface. When we think about a person who is disabled, a lot of us might think of someone who is in a wheelchair – just like the symbol on the parking signs. When in reality that makes up such a small portion of those within the disabled community.
Healthcare Evolutions spoke with an individual living with multiple invisible disabilities. She is young, and from the surface looks just like a healthy young woman which comes with its own challenges. Haylee shares her own experiences to give an insight into what it’s like living with a disability that no one else can see.
“I’ve lived with my health conditions for over ten years, and it’s always surprising how quick people are to make a judgment. ” says Haylee.
Haylee has a condition called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) which causes her to faint without warning when she stands. Due to this, she uses a wheelchair and a disability parking permit on her bad days. From the outside though, she looks like a healthy young girl which confuses a lot of people.
“I’ve been stared at, questioned and even abused when I use a disability parking spot. I have my permit, I am disabled. I’m doing nothing wrong, though some people don’t understand that.” she says.
Though Haylee’s partner often uses these awkward circumstances as an opportunity to educate the people who question her. His response is usually something along the lines of “not all disabilities are visible, she is disabled even if you think she doesn’t look like it”. The response from this is often a moment of realization or further arguments which is always ignored.
Though the confrontations don’t just end in the carpark, this kind of thing occurs within disabled toilets, even just in the community when using her wheelchair. It’s a thought that might not have crossed your mind, that not everyone in a wheelchair can’t walk. It’s a conversation some may not ever have. Disability is not just one form, some in the community might be like Haylee who only uses a wheelchair on some occasions, some may use one everyday, some not at all.
December is a month of disability advocacy with International Day of People with Disability being celebrated . Healthcare Evolutions wanted to take this opportunity to share a story and raise awareness for those within this community.
Healthcare Evolutions pride themselves on being an inclusive practice. If you have a disability and need support please do not hesitate to make an appointment at one of our clinics via our website: healthcareevolutions.com.auLeave a reply