Raising Awareness of Invisible Disease
The United Kingdom is paving the way for Alzheimer’s research and advocacy. There are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and experts estimate that number will reach 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051.
Education, Advocacy and Alzheimer’s
The UK has began to put signs outside of public restrooms to remind the public that not all disabilities are visible. The signs are being posted to help change public perception about individuals living with a disability, like Alzheimer’s. The signs also use the word “accessible” instead of “disabled”, subtly changing the way these conditions are considered. The signs have been seen throughout the country, in supermarkets, stores, and even the Tottenham Hotspur soccer club.
There has been a positive response from people living with invisible diseases, who have used accessible restrooms and fear confrontation because they do not look handicapped. From sufferers of multiple sclerosis to Crohn’s disease to dementia, these signs are a measured effort to make public restrooms accessible to anyone living with a disability – visible or not. Andy McGuiness from Crohn’s and Colitis UK says that the signs “are a recognition that not all disabilities can be seen and why not having a clear visible disability doesn’t mean you don’t need to use those toilets.”
Do you think these signs would be helpful in the U.S. or Canada? Have you ever been confronted for using an accessible bathroom? Share your story and thoughts with us in the comments below.
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