This week, we are running a campaign to highlight the experiences of young people with invisible disabilities, a topic that was chosen by the 2020 Action Panel.
Below, Rebecca Adeyemo, a member of the National Panel, explains why this issue was so important to the Action Panel and how they came to make their decision.
Action Panel Campaign 2020: Invisible Disabilities
Each year, the SpunOut.ie Action Panel, made up of over 130 young people across Ireland, choose an issue that affects young people in Ireland that they want to highlight.
In 2020, the Action Panel chose to centre their campaign around ‘Invisible Disabilities’. An invisible disability can be defined as a physical, mental or neurological condition that may not be obvious by looking at someone. Invisible disabilities may limit or challenge someone’s ability to take part in certain activities. There are several examples of invisible disabilities, including:
- ADD (Attention-deficit disorder)/ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Mental health conditions
- Chronic pain or illnesses, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Why invisible disabilities is an important issue
This Action Panel chose this topic as it is an area that many of us are passionate about. Action Panel members have encountered invisible disabilities in several different ways whether that is with a friend, a family member, or personally. This campaign is important as it aims to end the stigma behind invisible disabilities. Unfortunately due to the symptoms of invisible disabilities not being visible, it leads to a lack of understanding, false perceptions and judgement. This campaign aims to educate others on the lives of those living with invisible disabilities and how we can support others.
Stories from young people on invisible disabilities
The focus of this campaign is on real stories from young people in Ireland. All of the content below was created by our volunteers who shared their own experiences of living with invisible disabilities and why they want to raise awareness about this issue:
- Why I live proudly with my invisible disabilities by Aoife Dunne
- Why it’s so important to talk about mental health by Clara Hand
- What I want people to know about invisible disabilities by Rebecca Adeyemo
- Why I try to stay positive about my invisible disability by Scott Byrne
- Why it’s important to talk about invisible disabilities by Caitlin Grant
- How I managed my Epilepsy diagnosis by Stephen Moriarty
- How my arthritis has changed my life by Emily Larkin
- Why the conversation around disabilities needs to change by S. McKenna
- What it’s like growing up with ADHD – Ross Boyd
About the SpunOut.ie Action Panel
SpunOut.ie is a youth-led organisation. We are by young people, for young people, and our Action Panel members are central to the decisions we make. We have over 130 Action Panel members around the country who meet throughout the year to discuss the issues that are important to them and help guide the organisation.
We are currently recruiting for new members of the SpunOut.ie Action Panel. Applications are open until January 29th, 2021.