The causes of hidden mobility disabilities (HMD) are varied, encompassing over two dozen physical conditions, and the environmental barriers are many, involving a range of disciplines and social contexts. The Hidden Mobility Disabilities Alliance (HMDA) has been formed to engage a wide range of individuals and partnerships in order to begin to address meaningful accessibility for persons with HMD. The purpose of HMDA is:
To raise awareness regarding accessibility issues facing persons with HMD.
To develop and implement strategies to educate the public on how to meet the needs of those with HMD in all areas of public and community life.
To advocate for persons with HMD so they may be empowered to live with dignity and enjoy a full life without being hindered in, or prevented from doing so, by attitudinal barriers or requirements to walk further or stand longer than they can without negative health consequences.
The Hidden Mobility Disabilities Alliance aims to support those individuals with HMD through educational initiatives, self-help tools, and advocacy. HMDA is also interested in partnering with other organizations with overlapping mandates, and the attached HMDA Flyer outlines two main areas of potential collaboration:
- Ensuring that accessibility and “walkability” initiatives define “walkable” as less than 50 feet (15.2 m).
- Educating their membership about hidden mobility disabilities. Many individuals with hidden mobility disabilities do not identify as having a disability and are unaware of the social model saying that “disability” is the consequence of the interaction between a functional limitation and a lack of accommodation in the environment. Instead they think that their difficulties with walking or standing are personal failings, and they may worsen their functional limitations through a lack of appropriate self-care.
Hidden Mobility Disabilities Alliance Ltd. was incorporated federally in Canada as a non-soliciting non-profit on March 30, 2017, and registered with the province of British Columbia as an extraprovincial non-share corporation on March 31, 2017. Hidden mobility disabilities are not limited to a single geographic area. We can use the internet to facilitate our networking and coordinate our strategies – a virtual organization. Please join us!