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About Invisible Disability Ireland 
Invisible Disability Ireland is the only advocacy organization of its kind in Ireland which focuses on raising awareness and campaigning on invisible disabilities to achieve better awareness, empathy and understanding towards hidden illnesses and conditions in Ireland. Our ultimate aim is to provide a platform for a national conversation breaking away the stigma of what a disability "should look like". We also aim to empower, support, advocate and provide information, awareness and events to do so. Invisible Disability Ireland is a unique and much needed organization as it is the only Irish organization which focuses solely on invisible disabilities and conditions. 

What is an invisible disability?
A disability is any condition of the body or mind either developed, hereditary or congenital that impairs, impacts or reduces the ability of that person to carry out tasks or functions that an able bodied person without a disability would be able to do. A disability is an ongoing physical, health, or mental challenge. However, an invisible disability also known as a hidden disability, is when the condition or illness is less apparent, internal or invisible, meaning you cannot see the disability as it is happening inside the persons body with little outwardly symptoms or not immediately apparent. Invisible disabilities are an umbrella term used, invisible disabilities can be classified from moderate to severe, as it is a spectrum and also that every disability is unique and different to that person. Disabilities can also be classified into different categories such as physical disability, mental disability, illness and health condition to name a few. 
 

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Founder of Invisible Disability Ireland

Invisible Disability Ireland was founded in August of 2019 by the founder and director Emily Larkin. Emily was diagnosed with multiple health problems including rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, IBS, hypermobility syndrome and SVT. This inspired her to set up Invisible Disability Ireland as there was a lack of awareness and support towards people with chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities here in Ireland.

 

Since IDI was set up, it has grown massively with almost 2,000 followers on social media and has achieved many things to date in a short space of time. Emily has appeared on many media outlets discussing the work she has done as a patient advocate. She has also collaborated on many projects and campaigns alongside many organizations and has met many public and elected representatives to further highlight the ongoing difficulties facing people with invisible disabilities. 

Statistics 
Chances are, the majority of people don't understand what it means to have or live with an invisible illness or disability. That's because these conditions are completely invisible or internal and happen on the body's inside. For example, someone living with chronic pain can look completely 'normal' but could be struggling to do simple things like walking, shopping or eating. However, you cannot see their pain, because it is internal. The only way you could spot an invisible disability is if they use equipment such as a walking stick/frame or wheelchair. Its even harder for someone's invisible condition to be believed the younger you are. Did you know? Roughly 80% of all disabilities are invisible or less apparent! Therefore invisible disabilities make up a massive percentage of the disability population but yet have very little representation, awareness, understanding or support. That means the odds are stacked against people with disabilities including those with invisible disabilities. 

What is disability supposed to look like?

Diabetes              Sickle cell disease            Depression+anxiety                     arthritis             Crohn's disease 

So what now? 
Are you still interested to learn more about Invisible Disability Ireland? Have a look around at our website and be sure to follow our social media to stay up to date, we run campaigns and events all the time. You can however support us the most by speading our message either by word of mouth or via social media.  If you know someone who would benefit from our services, let them know about us!