Not All Disabilities Are Visible: Fighting The Stereotypes That Prevent You From Getting Help

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There are stories aplenty of people parking in a handicapped parking spot only to be told that they cannot park there because they do not have a disability. Despite having stickers on the license plates, registered disability plates, and/or a rearview mirror disability card, it is often still assumed that you do not have a disability if your disability is not visible. However, not all disabilities are visible. If you have an invisible disability and believe you have been shown discrimination, consult a disability discrimination attorney. Then see if any of the following apply. 

"You Do Not Look Sick/Physically Challenged"

This is one phrase that is spoken often by people who do not understand that disability comes in all forms. Sometimes, people do not understand that disabling conditions like ALS, lupus, MS, MD, and fibromyalgia all come with good days and bad days, and they all have a wide spectrum of symptoms that affect each person differently. Disclosing that you have a disability that does not immediately incapacitate you causes some people to think that you do not actually have a disability. If you have been told that you do not look physically challenged or ill just prior to being refused aid, benefits, a job, or something else, then you may have been a victim of discrimination. If they refuse to give you any services or job accommodations you apply or ask for, you may also have a discrimination case.  

Mental Health Disabilities

What is even more challenging than facing all of the above is having a mental health disability. People with personality disorders, bipolar disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, and isolating phobias have some of the least visible disabilities of all. Yet, you still have the right to work, own a home, get married, have children, receive and send mail, and so on without being told that you cannot. Your lawyer will help you determine if anyone has ever said or done anything to take away your rights as a person or deny you something of value that everyone else can have. 

Not Required to Disclose

By law, you are not required to disclose that you have a disability during a job interview. If you are offered a job, and your disability presents symptoms and issues that affect your work later on, you may disclose your disability diagnosis. If your employer at that time chooses to fire you, that may fall under the Disability Discrimination Act, for which you can sue.