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Terminology

daz1daz1 Member Posts: 14 Courageous
Hi, a couple of weeks ago I was asked to write a blog for work where they wanted me to write about "hidden disabilities". When I showed a couple of people in the disability rights community some complained about that term while others thought it was ok. One said it should be invisible disabilities while someone else said it should be non-visible disabilities. I did a MA in Disability Studies a couple of years ago where I was told to use the phrase "hidden impairments". That was back in 2013. So my question is, which phrase do you prefer and think is more PC, hidden impairment, hidden disability, non-visible disability or invisible disability?  

Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 7,018 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @daz1 interesting question! It can vary from person to person, I personally think there's no right or wrong with whatever term is used. I use the term invisible disability or invisible illness. 

    Community Champion
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,045 Disability Gamechanger
    I don't think it really matters as it means the same thing.  Someone will get offended whichever phrase you use, you can't please everyone.  Personally I hate the word 'disabled', but only because of social conditioning and stigma, it's just a word at the end of the day!

    I tend to use 'invisible illnesses' as I like the alliteration, gives it a bit more impact and makes it more memorable. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,311 Disability Gamechanger
    I have epilepsy and would consider myself to have a "hidden disability" but non of the terms you mention daz would offend me as my disability doesn't define who I am.
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    I myself have used the following words:

    Mobility impaired 
    Physically disabled 
    Child with gross motor issues
    Paraplegic
    Full time wheelchair user 

    None of them are particularly offensive. I try to stay clear of obvious disability slurs like the l word, the r word etc however! 
  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 434 Pioneering
    I have auditory processing disorder which i call an invisible disability.
    For me due to my communication issues the word "hidden" does not relate to any disability unless and individual tries to hide their disability from  others, but that is probably just me. 
    And invisible tends towards the meaning of not being immediately obvious, and possibly the complexity difficult to understand. again just me.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,999 Disability Gamechanger
    invisible disabilities....hidden infers deliberately done
  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    None of the terminology offends me, but if I had a choice I would probably refer to invisible disabilities.  
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Member Posts: 3,847 Disability Gamechanger
    As OverlyAnxious says, someone will get offended whatever you call it!!

    As someone who only has hidden disabilities, I don’t care what you call them, but I’m the wrong person to ask as I’m really not into all this PC stuff!!
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Member - under moderation Posts: 216 Pioneering
    daz1 said:
    Hi, a couple of weeks ago I was asked to write a blog for work where they wanted me to write about "hidden disabilities". When I showed a couple of people in the disability rights community some complained about that term while others thought it was ok. One said it should be invisible disabilities while someone else said it should be non-visible disabilities. I did a MA in Disability Studies a couple of years ago where I was told to use the phrase "hidden impairments". That was back in 2013. So my question is, which phrase do you prefer and think is more PC, hidden impairment, hidden disability, non-visible disability or invisible disability?  
    I hate this either way you cut it and this is directed at your question and not you personally.
    Disabled to me is a term to pat someone on the head and speak to their carer whilst ignoring them ( my relative I took in a wheelchair to a library the person looked through them and talked to me many years ago)

    Seeing as I was thrown from a supported  Direct Payments care plan to NOTHING purely due to Austerity.

    I have written diagnosis for Autism, Fibromyalgia and associated Bowel problems and I do not want to be called Disabled, I merely want to be enabled to interact and live my life as an EQUAL.

    I do work self employed as virtually unemployable.

    Currently I cannot carry heavy things long distances and planning life around toilet locations isn’t fun.

    I recently applied for a Blue Badge and explaining to the person that my main issue was revolves around proximity of toilets in short notice and feeling concerned someone seeing me running for a toilet would think I was misusing a blue badge.
    I did everything to avoid being eligible and the assessor decision was my noted hidden disability was bowel related, I could get through on Fibromyalgia or even Autism diagnosis. But again concerned if seen carrying something I would be reported.
    The assessor assured me that they note reason for issuing a badge.

    So what I’m saying is write a positive piece focusing on the person’s value to a company and society, bring the “disability” in as a reasonable adjustment that allows the person to be a valuable asset to the company.

    Focus on positives.

    Focus on Enablement 
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