Hidden Mobility Disabilities: Making the Invisible Visible
Everyone recognizes the international symbol of the wheelchair for disabled individuals, but there are many more individuals with reduced mobility that is not readily apparent and for whom everyday accessibility is an issue.
Are you limiting your social or physical activities because it is painful to walk very far? Do you have trouble standing in a queue for more than a few minutes without intense pain? Do you find it frustrating to be told that you should walk “just over there” (“not far”) when the distance indicated is much further than you can walk comfortably?
We are the first organization to research and advocate for the accessibility needs of persons with hidden mobility disabilities (HMD). See the Research tab for a summary HMD Fact Sheet.
“I was surprised when I received the survey because its relevance became readily apparent. Previously, I had considered these difficulties as just ‘old’.”
Millions of independently mobile individuals have difficulty walking more than a short distance; however, many are afraid to speak up and identify themselves as having a mobility disability because after all they can walk – some. For more information about HMD and tips for self-care, check out What Is HMD? For people willing to help with education and advocacy, we have a series of Action Kits.
Whether you have HMD or not, please join the Hidden Mobility Disabilities Alliance (HMDA) to raise awareness of distance as a barrier and to help make a difference.
JOIN THE HMD PROJECT
You have a chance, through the HMD Project, to help ensure that barriers for persons with hidden mobility disabilities are removed. This project, Ensuring Accessibility for Persons with HMD, is sponsored by the Hidden Mobility Disabilities Alliance and funded by Accessibility Standards Canada. Its purpose is to provide input on the physical access requirements of those with HMD and how attitudinal barriers stemming from assumptions about physical capabilities could be addressed. It is part of Accessibility Standards Canada’s initiative to modify federal accessibility standards so that Canada becomes barrier-free by 2040 (as specified in the Accessible Canada Act). Your input will be of great help to the federal government in ensuring that federal programs and services are accessible to everyone. The project will run from January 2022 to March 2024.
If you or your organization is interested in participating, please go to www.hmdproject.org