#InvisibleDisabilities Day

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012|Guest posts|by Abigail Stafford

Today The Elexu Foundation would like to share a day with our community that was developed by one of our followers, Abigail Stafford. She initiated Invisible Disabilities Day because at the time there wasn’t a general umbrella to raise awareness about disabilities that may not have the publics attention. So if you’re on Twitter, tweet with the hash tag #invisibledisabilities this Friday and learn all sorts about conditions you didn’t even know existed, yet affect people’s lives on a day to day basis.

I’m Abigail Stafford and at the age of 16 I was diagnosed with a hereditary joint condition called hypermobility syndrome Ehlers Danlos Type. After years of suffering with pain and HMS symptoms, I started to wonder why had it taken so long for me to be diagnosed with a condition I was born with? Simple, such little is known about the rare condition in the UK and around the world. So now, at the age of 18, I’m trying to help make the ‘invisible visible’ and raise awareness about #invisibledisabilities.

After attending an inspiring workshop with blogging professionals organised by 4talent, I set up my own blog to help raise awareness about invisible conditions www.hideandseekdisabilities.blogspot.com. The blog was set up as a platform whereby people from all over the world could interact by educating others about their invisible conditions and go to for advice and support from those that are in similar situations.

After the initial success of the blog, I set up a Twitter and Facebook account where people can regularly access short snippets of advice and info. I soon realised, that whilst there are months, weeks and even specific days dedicated to raising awareness about certain conditions, there is no awareness date for the umbrella ‘invisible disabilities’. Therefore, I decided to dedicate Friday 4th may as #invisibledisabilities day! This hopefully will coincide with my HideAndSeek Disabilities Blog reaching the 10,000 hits mark as it’s not too far away from hitting this milestone! On twitter and on the blog, I’ve promoted this day and have got people involved to help raise awareness about all #invisibledisabilities! So if you’re on twitter, tweet with the hash tag #invisibledisabilities this Friday and learn all sorts about conditions you didn’t even know existed, yet affect people’s lives on a day to day basis.

Since its launch in September 2011 I have had an overwhelming response from people across the world, many of them contributing to blog by sending in video clips, links and inspiring stories. Many people, including myself, have already learnt a great deal about disabilities we never knew existed, yet there is so much more we still need to realise and discover.

I have since realised that there isn’t enough support out there for young people, like myself, to help us to persevere in achieving our goals. That’s when I came across Elexu online. I was immediately taken in by the appeal and intentions of the new social platform that will be launching in the near future. A support network whereby the youth of today can access the help they need in making their dreams into reality!

I’m certain that this initiative will reach out to and inspire many young people, like myself to pursue their dreams and showcase their talent by offering resources and competitions for financial support and I’m privileged to be involved with Elexu in its early stages, to witness the whole process of how Elexu succeeds in helping young people achieve their dreams and aspirations.

-Abigail Stafford