Permission to reprint given by Access II
This article was written to educate on the fact that some individuals have disabilities that may not be apparent when meeting that person or simply passing by. An individual with a hidden disability has to as well make accommodations on a daily basis. Do not make assumptions or personal judgments on just appearances; we all are unique in our own way. Ask yourself are you guilty of making assumptions about the individual parked in a
accessible parking spot because YOU didn’t perceive them as an individual with a disability. Not every disability is apparent just by looking at someone. Individuals with hidden disabilities have conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, lung disease, kidney failure, hemophilia, hypertension, heart disease and other conditions. The lawmakers of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) included individuals with hidden disabilities under the protection of the law. The law’s broad definition of disability includes individuals with histories of impairment and those who are perceived as having a disability. Further, ADA regulations encourage individuals with hidden disabilities to disclose their disabilities and seek the full protection of the law. Children with hidden disabilities also are included under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the law that ensures a free and appropriate public education for children with disabilities.