A Dunfermline woman is spearheading a new campaign which aims to tackle people’s perceptions of so-called ‘hidden’ disabilities.
Hope Murray has teamed up with Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland, the public body supporting disabled people to live independently in Scotland and Northern Ireland, to champion the ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ initiative – as well as the International Day of People with Disabilities which took place on December 3.
The 2020 theme focuses on spreading awareness and understanding that all disabilities are not immediately clear to people, such as Hope’s which is a visual impairment that is not visible.
During the pandemic, disabled people have reported feeling isolated and unsafe, and that Covid-19 has made things they may find difficult anyway even more difficult.
ILF Scotland’s activity will shine a light on challenges disabled people face when going about their day-to-day lives, especially during Covid-19.
Hope, 23, explained: “I have a visible impairment, so my disability is not obvious although it does mean that I struggle to read certain fonts or, due to my depth of perception as a result of my eyesight being off, I walk into people or objects.
“This means I am sometimes challenged or people look at me sideways as they don’t understand because they can’t see my disability.
“Sometimes it upsets me, but the majority of the time I’ve kind of learned to accept it.
“After all, my disability makes me, me.
“Living with a disability has been even more difficult during Covid-19 as I have now to wear a facemask which means my glasses steam up making it even harder for me to see.”
She added: “My advice to people whose disability is not always apparent is just ask for help if you need it.
“It’s not a bad thing after all to have a disability, it’s what makes us all unique.”
More details on the campaign can be found on https://ilf.scot/news-post/ilf-scotland-champions-international-day-of-people-with-disabilities/.