Accommodating for the Unseen: Creating Safe and Accessible Spaces for those with Invisible Chronic Illness
Folks who experience the intersection of living with an illness that is both chronic and invisible face a unique set of challenges. This includes navigating healthcare, educational, and social systems that we’re not designed with us in mind. Living with a life threatening painful disease is already traumatic and exhausting but some of the deepest pain we experience does not come from that, but rather, the burden of having to constantly fight to be believed, heard, and accommodated for.
Christie is a student at Fairhaven College studying ecological design to create sustainable cooperative communities and regenerative food systems. At 14, she was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, an invisible chronic autoimmune disease. Now, as a community organizer and proud queer disabled woman, she is outspoken on the need for dialogue on ableism and disability justice in activist spaces and the greater community. She hopes this will inspire a reframing of the way we view disability as a society, and challenge the stigma that prevents those with invisible illness from receiving the accommodations they need.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx