The data revealed that these emotional and physical experiences are greatly impacting patients. 70% of people with Crohn’s or Colitis have had an accident in public or experienced unpleasant symptoms because someone wouldn’t let them jump the toilet queue, which can have a devastating social impact
81% of people with Crohn’s or Colitis think that the public have little understanding of these conditions and are quick to judge those living with them.
Now Crohn’s & Colitis UK has launched the Not Every Disability Is Visible campaign to try to change signage and attitudes around people using disabled toilets.
Over 80% of people with Crohn’s or Colitis said they feel more comfortable visiting places with the Not Every Disability is Visible signs installed, powerfully demonstrating that these signs have a real impact on people’s lives. For businesses this is a small change, for people with invisible disabilities this can be life-changing.
Marta Azmy Yousef, a new mother, fashion textiles sales administrator, and a Not Every Disability is Visible campaign ambassador says: ‘I’m always worried about being challenged by someone when I come out of an accessible toilet – I feel as though I have to plan what I would say before leaving just in case someone decides I don’t look disabled enough.
‘I can get really anxious, worrying about someone having a go at me for being in the toilets that are ‘supposed to be for disabled people.’ It’s ridiculous. I know I’m allowed to use them, but people can be so cruel.’
‘These signs make a real difference to people living with Crohn’s or Colitis,” says Sarah Sleet, CEO at Crohn’s & Colitis UK. ‘We know that if the public better understand the devastating symptoms of these conditions, they will be more considerate and supportive of people who feel too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their Crohn’s or Colitis.
‘It is vitally important that everyone gets involved in the campaign to help increase understanding of the true impact of these conditions.’
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