The third of December marks the International Day of People with Disabilities, with the 2020 theme being ‘not all disabilities are visible’. This annual awareness day reminds us to celebrate the amazing skills and talents individuals with disabilities have, and reminds us of the varying support needs people with disabilities may have within our workforce and our community.
There are a huge number of disabilities which are invisible; this includes mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.
2020 has seen many added barriers for people with disabilities due to the coronavirus pandemic changing the way many of us live and work. Isolation, disconnect, disrupted routines, the fear of abuse if unable to wear a mask and diminished service support have greatly impacted the lives and mental wellbeing of millions of people with disabilities globally, and this looks set to continue for some time to come.
This day of awareness serves as a reminder to us all of the importance, more now than ever, of being understanding of the various challenges people with both visible and invisible disabilities face.
Our organisation has a disability, impairment and long-term health condition staff network which meets quarterly.