This blog is a place and space to discuss, reflect, share personal stories, research, best practices and “oh no you didn’t”s for adults with hidden disabilities. We are making the move from a newsletter format in ConstantContact because it did not allow for two-way conversation and active participation from our readership. WordPress opens up possibilities that we did not have before.
The term hidden disabilities in the context of this site will tend to focus on higher incidence conditions such as learning disabilities (US definition), ADHD, high functioning autism/Asperger’s syndrome, Executive functioning issues, mood disorders, and other related learning or neurological conditions. Collectively, when you use just about any data set or governmental source for special education, young men and women with these diagnosed conditions make up over 2/3’s of placements in public school settings.
It will stress adult issues because one can only find them participating in higher education settings comprising less than 10% of the student body (L. Brinckerhoff, ETS, 2009), have an unemployment rate of 78% of working age adults (US Census Bureau/Dept of Labor statistics), until recently, were unable t0 prove they were being discriminated against in workplace setting because they did not met the conditions of disability “under the law” (ADAA, 2009) and only just this year were considered eligible for Small Business Loan consideration as a Minority-owned business (Harkin, 2009).
For as many living in the US that have Medicaid/medicare health insurance benefits through the Social Security Program, there are many more who have no health care insurance because they are not eligible due to “not being disabled enough” to qualify due to conflicting eligibility requirements. With pre-existing conditions (sorry born or developed it), many of us in this category of life experience pay mortgage level rates to have minimal insurance with high deductibles.
Yet, there is a strength, resilience, and good sense of “the far side” humor in looking at life- you must have some of this because the world from our view of it can be so ridiculous sometimes that the best option is to laugh and engage in sarcasm/dry wit/humor (oh I hope you will contribute in this vein!) when you get tired of explaining, that no, you don’t overcome these conditions, you become skilled at managing it.
Our site will review local, national & global news, invite articles, reader comments, post YouTube videos, and any other media that will increase attention and action about the lifelong issues these conditions pose, and present proven concepts, programs, and services that are helping. Just click on the highlighted links in the body of the article or hit “play” for the Youtube. I see the site having a twitter feed shortly, and we can communicate in this manner as well.
I hope to see this as a safe place to come to feel welcomed. We are working on building community in common cause with current and emerging issues. My first question to readers: What matters most to adults with hidden disabilities (or disabled adults for my European friends)?
Please sign up, read, comment, share with friends, and let’s make this the last generation that does not enjoy full civil rights inclusions and protections.