Invisible Disability Discrimination

A research study conducted by the Crohn’s and Colitis UK charity was published today, the study looked into the discrimination experienced by people suffering from invisible disabilities. This is of particular interest to Stripy Lightbulb and myself as an M.E./C.F.S. patient as M.E./C.F.S. is an invisible disability. The study concluded that Crohn’s and Colitis patients experienced discrimination when attempting to use disabled toilet facilities. This experience is not limited to sufferers of Crohn’s and Colitis.

Have you ventured to Waterloo station in London in the last decade or so? Have you noticed that the disabled toilet is on the platform level and the public toilet facilities are down 2 flights of stairs? I have and it gave me anxiety last month. I’ll explain.

In the past 6 months or so I have visited London more than usual for business. I usually force myself to use the public toilet facilities if necessary as I am always aware of disbelieving looks and stares. I do not look like there is anything wrong with me. However, my health was already a bit ropey when I set out on the day’s journey and it was something I had to consider on the train journey into Waterloo. I knew my Mum would be using the disabled facilities and had to decide whether I would do the same.  As is usual for me, with my advocacy head on, I started a Twitter conversation.

So. My mum uses a walking stick to stabilise herself when she is out and about due to her arthritis. I have no outward sign of disability. When we get to , my mum will use the platform level disabled loo and I will have to go down 2 flights of stairs to get to the public loo. I could fight for the right to use the disabled toilet but….. I don’t have the energy to argue.
–  Do it, lovely. They’re not allowed to question you. I’m in London myself, today, and have my stick, but sometimes I don’t and I’m past caring. Don’t make yourself feel awful because of ignorant strangers. Your health and wellbeing is more important. Don’t knacker yourself out x

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