I would like to raise awareness for Invisible Disabilities within the University. I have noticed that there is so much predjudice towards individuals with a Invisble Disability, for example; being judged for using the disabled toilets, just because they don't require a wheelchair, even though they may need to use those specific toilets as part of their condition.
Maybe through bringing awareness through posters or a Hub that can be used in order to gain information on a particular conditon if needed.
I am so passionate about the topic of Invisible Disabilities, because I have had so many people accuse me of lying about my hearing loss and my stammer, just because I can’t wear a hearing aid and because my stammer can alter from day to day.
When I was young, I had the MMR (Mumps, Measles and Rubella) jab, as most children do. Unfortunately, I was given mine too early, before I was 1. Today all children have to be 13 months or over, before having the same jab. Something happened to me, no one is prepared to say what. But whatever the cause I have lost hearing in my left ear and I stammer.
One theory is that my MMR jab caused damage in the part of my brain that controls speech and hearing. Suddenly, I stopped making baby sounds and I would not look at people. I seemed to be in my own world. The doctors tried to understand what was going on, so I was taken into theatre in hospital to have electrodes attached to my left ear and my brain. They wanted to know if the ‘wiring’ from my ear to my brain were still working.
I was also put into a sealed cell and had various sounds played to me. Some were very loud, and some were very quiet. The doctors watched my reaction to each, through a two-way mirror. I cannot remember any of this, but my Mum and my Nan watched with the doctors and told me that I didn’t react in any way. I did not look around when music was coming from a certain direction, I didn’t jump when a loud bang was played. My consultant was convinced that I was either fully deaf or lost in an autistic world of my own.
It was then that I started to learn Makaton, which is sign language for young children. Of course, my family had to learn it too. When I reached the age of 4, I was still silent and was sent to a special school, for children with learning difficulties. I can always remember being so frustrated and angry I was at myself for not being able to talk, or to get people to understand things.
Suddenly at the age of 6, I began to speak, and it was around Christmas time too. My family said that it was their Christmas miracle.
I’m now 20, I have adapted to my surroundings and have learnt subtle ways to combat being half deaf and having a stammer. My family and friends are very supportive of me and I am very fortunate to have them, recently I have been receiving support from the University’s own disability service which is getting me the belief that I can and will achieve my goal of, whilst being in Bangor University, which is to become a registered Nurse.
This is why I am so passionate about this topic. Unfortunately, I have seen so much predjudice againt individuals with an Invisible Disability and I believe that it’s mainly down to a lack of awareness. Which is why I have created a PowerPoint Presentation to bring awareness towards the prejudice against individuals with an invisible disability.
Due to the size of the Presentation I was unable to upload the file, but I have attached a OneDrive link of the presentation below.
Thank you very much.