"But, you don't look disabled!" was the topic of our May monthly members' meeting.
We had another great discussion as people shared their experiences of being less obviously disabled.
People who have both obvious and less obvious impairments talked about how it can be hard to have the less visible one recognised - for example wheelchair users who are also neurodivergent.
People with only less obvious impairments talked about being presumed to be non-disabled, particularly when in certain activist circles.
People spoke about experiencing a change in how others treated them when circumstances changed and their impairment became more obvious - e.g using a wheelchair full time, using a long cane.
We talked about visibility and awareness and the advantages and disadvantages.
We wondered if it would be a good idea to normalise people stating their relevant access needs during introductions at meetings / events in a similar way to people sharing their pronouns. It could be really helpful to make people aware of things - e.g. someone needing to lipread - but would people feel comfortable sharing?
We hold members' discussion meetings online every month, usually on the second Monday. The next one is on Monday 12th June from 6-8pm. The topic is still to be confirmed. You can register for the meeting here.