Defining Invisible Disability 

An “invisible”, “non-visible”, “hidden”, “non-apparent”, or "unseen" disability is any physical, mental, or emotional impairment that goes largely unnoticed by the general population. An invisible disability can include, but is not limited to: cognitive impairment and brain injury; the autism spectrum and its physical manifestations; chronic illnesses and diseases like multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue and chronic pain, autoimmune compromise, and fibromyalgia; hearing and visual impairments; ADHD; learning disabilities and dyslexia; and depressive, bipolar, and anxiety disorders like major depression, bipolar, generalized anxiety, and PTSD. We understand the body as always changing, so disability and chronic illness may be unstable or periodic throughout one’s life.


We define the body outside the mainstream fantasy of a “normal” body. We characterize the body and the mind as diverse; hence, our use of the phrases bodily diversity and neuro diversity.

- Invisible Disability Project


Shaping A New Culture

Invisible Disability Project (IDP) rejects all forms of discrimination against disabled people. As disabled people, we are the largest minority in the United States. For many, being disabled is a lived identity. Disability does not discriminate, and intersects multiple overlapping identities, such as: straight / gay / queer; female / male / transgender / genderqueer; black / brown / white / yellow;  rich / poor; urban / rural / young / old.

Diversity as a construct is emerging across multiple settings, including education and the workforce.  The diversity conversation traditionally centers around gender and racial equality, while disability is a critical omission.  Not at IDP.  We don't do that here.  We understand the diversity conversation is incomplete if it does not also center disability.  IDP creates education programs for schools, and has organized information and usable resources that place agency and power in the disabled workforce.  We design practical activism that builds human connections and personal advocacy, while dismantling bias, stigma, and ableism.  IDP imagines radical transformation by changing language, changing minds, and shaping a new culture.


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