When you have an invisible disability people often assume that finding employment is easier than if you had a visible disability because you don’t have to disclose your disability like you do with a visible disability. Finding a job when you have a visible disability is hard because employers assume you are incapable and you face all kinds of discrimination but it’s not necessarily any easier for people with invisible disabilities. Yes, it is true that if you have a disability that you cannot see you don’t have to disclose that to your employer like you do with visible disabilities but some people may chooose to in order to get an easier and more accessible work environment. Employers often hesitate to hire disabled people when they hear of your disability so disabled people don’t like to disclose it . Is it harder to find a job when you are invisibly disabled than if you had a visible disability? I think it depends on what disability you have because some invisible disabilities have severe pain and will struggle will finding gainful employment just as much as those who have a obvious physical disability. In this post I am going to talk about why someone with an invisible disability may struggle with finding gainful employment even though you cannot see their and it seems like it should be easier.
You may need more sick days- Some disabled people get sick about just as often as abled people because their immune systems aren’t affected by their disabilities but that is not the case for all disabilities. Every job gives you a certain about of sick days which is plenty for most people but it may not be enough for those with chronic conditions who get sick often. Some people with invisible disabilities may need more sick days because you experience chronic pain that puts you out for the out on some days. When I am in the middle of a migraine attack I can’t power through and write a quality blog post because I am too focused on the pain and it won’t be good so I need to practice self-care. People with weaker immune systems may get ill quite often and require hospitalization where they are out of work for weeks at a time which can be difficult for finding and keeping a job because employers want people that are reliable and can show up on a consistent basis. People with chronic conditions don’t want to take more sick days than the average person but some disabilities require it to stay as healthy as you possibly. Believe me when I say we would much rather be cashing in these sick days for vacation days instead of working on pain management!
You often are not believed- One of the perks of having an invisible disability is that you don’t have to disclose your disability in job interviews if you don’t want to but that can also be a disadvantage as well. You often are not believed for the pain you say you have because it’s difficult for employers to understand why you can’t work when you seem fine. I have a visible disability that affects me in so many ways but I also have Hydrocephalus that makes me more prone to migraines which is an invisible disability and it also has a massive effect on my life. If I were to get a job I would need an employer that was extremely flexible and understood that I physically could not work when I was experiencing a migraine attack because I did that when I was doing one of my job training and it affected my health hugely. I was always emotional even when I was not working and I was not sleeping well so I would never put myself through that again. Pain is unpredictable and you can’t plan for a high pain day but it usually hit you out of nowhere for not reason at all! Unfortunately, it would be very to find someone who understood that becuase most people that have never experienced a migraine attack think it’s just a headache.
Some people require more doctors visits- Many disabilities have unpredictable health and can get sick quite often so you may need to visit your doctor more than the average person to maintain your health. When you have an invisible disability it can be hard to understand why someone may be visiting their doctor so much because they may look healthy but I assure you we aren’t visiting our doctor’s because we can or that we are bored and want something to do. My disability does not require tons of doctor’s visits but I only go as needed and for yearly doctor’s appointments but not all disabled people will have that luxury and need to check in with their doctor’s quite often to keep on top of their health. Some disabled people get quite ill often and may need to visit their doctor more than I do which can interfere with your ability to keep and find a job. You will be calling out of work more often or showing up late because of a doctors appointment and some employers may have a problem with this and want to hire someone who is more reliable and will show up on time. It seems unfair that the reason some people may struggle to find gainful employment is because their health is unreliable! It’s not like you can control that and it’s just something you have to live with when you have any disability!
Finding a job can be easier when you have an invisible disability because you don’t have to disclose your disability if you don’t want to but it also can still be just as hard to find employment as if you had a visible disability. People with invisible disabilities still struggle and need accommodations to do their jobs even though you may not be able to see their pain as clearly as someone who has a visible disability. The problem with having an invisible disability and working a job is that people can’t see your pain and it’s hard for people to understand how you can struggle so much when you look totally fine. Some people with invisible disabilities may not experience a lot of pain or need a lot of modification to do a job successfully so they don’t have to disclose their disability in a job interview but others may want to. An invisible disability doesn’t necessarily mean someone struggles more or less than people with visible ones and all it means is that you cannot see someone’s pain. I know plenty of people with invisible disabilities that struggle more or less than me but you would think I had it worse because you can see my struggles much more clearly. There are more invisible disabilities than visible one and the visibility of someone’s disabilities doesn’t necessarily mean someone has it worse! Do you think employment is easier or harder with an invisible disability?