‘Invisible’ Disabilities: Car Park Confrontation Prompts Call For Greater Recognition

Invisible Illness

By Laura Collins and Lucy Robinson in ABC.Net Australia.

 

Fed up with judgemental looks, comments and confrontations, a young South Australian woman living with a debilitating disease is calling for more recognition of ‘invisible’ disabilities.

Key points:

  • Sarah Larcombe has undergone seven major surgeries in nine years
  • She has a disability permit and is under strict instructions not to carry heavy loads
  • Blue Badge survey found most people with ‘invisible’ disabilities had been harassed while parked

Mount Gambier resident Sarah Larcombe, 26, suffers from Crohn’s disease, a chronic auto-immune illness that causes inflammation of the bowel.

But despite having undergone seven major surgeries over the past nine years — including one to remove her entire large bowel and replace it with an ileostomy bag — Ms Larcombe does not appear sick or disabled.

“You perceive me to look like a young, healthy individual, and it’s the total opposite,” said Ms Larcombe, who has been issued a disability permit and is under strict instructions not to carry heavy loads.

“Being [parked] closer to the store helps so much, particularly when I’m carrying heavy shopping bags,” she said.

 

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Link to Invisible Illness story

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