Who's Disabled-3: Know Anybody with an "Invisible" Disability?
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Three out of Four "Disabled Americans" are Invisible!!!
Who's Disabled in America?

[3] About 55 Million Americans have "Invisible" Disabilities

More than one in five Americans have a disa
bility "severe enough to impair their mobility." However, some disabilities are not as obvious as others.

When you see somebody in a wheelchair, you would instantly understand that person has some sort of disability.

The same holds true for anyone using
any sort of assistive device or technology that is highly visible, i.e., crutches, a walker, an external hearing aid, a service animal, eyeglasses, a cast, or leg braces. Yes, most folks would immediately realize ... that person has a disability.

And about 25% of America's disabled population, or about 18 million people, do use some sort of highly visible assistive device or technology.

But what about the other 55 million of us who have disabling conditions that you can't see?

Here's an example: Asthma is one of the most common chronic disabling conditions in the United States. It affects more than 20 million Americans, and accounts for approximately 25% of all emergency room visits (according to a May 2005 study by the American Lung Association).

Here's another example: Chronic Pain affects an estimated 15 to 33 percent of the U.S. population (more than 70 million people, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics).

What do people with "invisible disabilities" look like?
Could you recognize someone with one of the "invisible" disabilities mentioned above?

Many disabling conditions are intermittent. Those with such disabilities tend to have "good" days and "bad" days. On a "good" day such people might appear to be "normal" and get around pretty well. On a "bad" day, some people might have trouble even getting out of bed.

But most of the time you'd probably never know there was anything wrong if you encountered someone with an invisible disability on the street ... unless they were having a bad day.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the three leading reasons for time lost from work in the United States include [1] migraine headaches, [2] lower back pain, and [3] a variety of heart conditions. Frequently, some people who have such chronic conditions will insist that they're not "disabled" ... unless they happen to be having a bad day.

Whether or not you recognize us on the street, there are over 65 MILLION Disabled Americans.

And even though 75% of us might be "invisible," we're still America's largest minority group.

Please continue ...
Next: America's Largest Minority Group
References: [ Disability Studies, Statistics, and Related Issues | No Java? ]
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