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Invisible disabilities are not readily apparent to others just by looking at a person. They include conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, mental illness, chronic pain, peripheral neuropathy, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, lupus, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, PTSD, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and myasthenia gravis, to name just a few. The impact of an invisible disability can range from minor impairment to completely disabling.
About 10% of Americans have an invisible disability; 96% of people with chronic medical conditions have an invisible disability. Because these disabilities are not apparent to the casual observer, a person with an invisible disability may be accused of faking or exaggerating their condition. The Invisible Disabilities Association is striving to establish a discrete National Disability ID icon that is more inclusive than the current blue and white wheelchair symbol for accessible parking in order to address potential misunderstandings with law enforcement, emergency and first responders, and other public services.
To learn more about invisible disabilities: