The International Day of Persons With Disabilities is aimed at raising awareness of disability issues, empowering people with disabilities and advocating for a more disability-inclusive world. While visible disabilities like mobility issues or Down syndrome are immediately apparent, there are also medical conditions that affect a person’s daily functioning but are not immediately noticeable to others. According to a 2017 study by the Center for Talent Innovation, 30% of white-collar college-educated professionals have a disability. Of all employees with a disability, 62% have one that is invisible. Only 3.2% reported disclosing their disability to their employers.
Due to the stigma attached to chronic physical illness, mental illness and other disabilities, professionals with invisible disabilities may feel uncomfortable disclosing their conditions and the possible need for accommodations to their employers. Fostering an inclusive and accommodating workplace can help prospective and current employees feel comfortable disclosing that they have an invisible disability.
Some examples of invisible disabilities include: