National Public Awareness Campaign PUT IT ON YOUR WALL!

About “Invisible” Disabilities

In anticipation of December 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities, three European Union-funded projects in Northern Macedonia, which currently support establishing of community social services and the implementation of the National Deinstitutionalization Strategy, are jointly organized the public awareness campaign PUT IT ON YOUR WALL!”.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been celebrated for 29 years, since 1992, with the idea to promote, but also to remind, of the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and to raise awareness about the condition of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

It is estimated that, globally, more than 1 billion people live with some form of disability. This means that 1 in 7 people has a disability, which makes people with disabilities “the largest minority in the world”. In general, they have poorer health, lower educational attainment, fewer economic opportunities, and higher poverty rates than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of available services (such as information and communication technology (ICT), justice or transport) and the many obstacles they face in everyday life, in various forms, including those related to physical environment, or those arising from legislation or policy, or from social attitudes or discrimination.

Our joint efforts this year are aimed at raising public awareness about the so-called “Invisible” disabilities. Not all disabilities are visible or easily recognizable. According to the American Association of Invisible Disabilities, we can simply put that invisible disability is a physical, mental, or cognitive condition that is not visible from the outside but can still restrict a person’s movements, senses, or activities. Unfortunately, the very fact that these symptoms are invisible can lead to misunderstandings, misconceptions and judgments from the environment.

Invisible disabilities include autism, chronic pain, and learning disabilities, as well as mental health conditions, mobility, speech impairments, and sensory loss such as vision loss, hearing loss, or deafness. Respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic pain and sleep disorders, when they significantly affect daily life, are considered invisible disabilities.

The project “Support to the modernization and deinstitutionalization of social services”, together with the projects Support to the process of relocation of persons with intellectual disabilities from the institution in DemirKapija to supported housing units-OASIS and “Getting a Life” – Deinstitutionalization of Residents of Demir Kapija Institution – PIN for this campaign teamed up with the artist and graphic designer Zoran Kardula. His stylized designs depict several states of invisible disability (dyslexia, autism, bipolar disorder, Down syndrome, diabetes in children, deafness).

The wonderfully creative designs are available to download, to use them in electronic form or print them yourself. If you want to read our messages and download click here.

People living with invisible disabilities often face barriers in their daily lives, including a lack of understanding and negative attitudes. They are also one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Take the opportunity to take action to make our world more inclusive for everyone!