You Don’t Look … Invisibly Ableist?


Having an invisible disability isn’t easy.

How many of us have experienced this?

“You don’t look like you’re sick or disabled”

Says here that every human has a heart
even when we can’t see any evidence of that

Does anyone ever say:

You don’t look hungry“?

Appearances and opinions can be deceiving

Have you ever been told

You don’t look like you need to use the washroom“?

Appearances and opinions can be deceiving


Are you serious?


You don’t look like you’re serious
about expecting me to be fragrance-free

Appearances and opinions can be deceiving

I am absolutely serious… Seriously sensitive to pollution.

“You don’t look like you’re sick or disabled”

Appearances and opinions can be deceiving

Do you believe me now?

Appearances and opinions can be deceiving

You could have believed me.



It doesn’t have to be this way.
Here are some resources:


The Law Commission of Ontario has stated:

…”[Ableism] may be defined as a belief system, analogous to racism, sexism or ageism, that sees persons with disabilities as being less worthy of respect and consideration, less able to contribute and participate, or of less inherent value than others. Ableism may be conscious or unconscious, and may be embedded in institutions, systems or the broader culture of a society. It can limit the opportunities of persons with disabilities and reduce their inclusion in the life of their communities.”

“Ableist attitudes are often based on the view that disability is an “anomaly to normalcy,” rather than an inherent and expected variation in the human condition. Ableism may also be expressed in ongoing paternalistic and patronizing behaviour toward people with disabilities.”…

~ The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)
Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability

“No Joking Matter: Words and Disability”

While we are increasingly aware of the need to address racist, sexist, homophobic, ageist and classist language, ableist language is too often disregarded.”   …


“Being aware of language — for those of us who have the privilege of being able to change our language — can help us understand how pervasive ableism is.”


One response to “You Don’t Look … Invisibly Ableist?

  1. I’m currently caring for 4 people with invisible disabilities. It’s such a struggle. The lady at the bank just told me that my grandfather doesn’t look like he has Alzheimer’s.

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