People Are Sharing Their Photos to Teach Others What Invisible Disabilities Really Look Like


split screen photo of woman and man, both in nature and not with any visible disabilities

There’s no way to “tell” that someone has a disability, and many disabilities are completely invisible — however, based on the number of times people with invisible disabilities experience judgment and skepticism, not enough people realize this.

That was the inspiration behind the #InvisiblyDisabledLooksLike hashtag, which was started by disability activist Annie Segarra. To mark the end of Invisible Disabilities Week, an awareness week founded by the Invisible Disabilities Association, on Sunday, Segarra posted a tweet inviting people to share photos.

It’s the end of #InvisibleDisabilitiesWeek and I welcome people to post their pics with: #InvisiblyDisabledLooksLike

Segarra told The Mighty that as an ambulatory wheelchair user with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and comorbid conditions like chronic pain and dysautonomia she’s in a “blurry middle ground” in which going without mobility aids for even a moment leads others to assume she’s faking her disability or getting better simply because they don’t think she “looks disabled.”

“As I’ve started losing abilities I’ve started receiving similar comments, from ‘You know if you just lost some weight you probably wouldn’t need that wheelchair’ (a mixture of fat antagonism and ableism) because they saw me stand up and take my wheelchair out of the trunk of my car, to hearing someone talk about me to their child, ‘God, will punish her for playing around in that thing’ referring to an…