Invisible Disabilities

INSIGHTS: Invisible Disabilities

Most disabilities are invisible. This is particularly so for the younger generations - children, young people and adults. Because they're invisible the participants' needs may be overlooked. Invisible disabilities offer challenges for providers - who unwittingly exclude people from participation.

"Invisible disabilities" include a range of conditions that affect people differently, for example ADHD and Autism spectrum disorder. There is stigma attached to certain kinds of impairment. There is no 'one way' to get around the issues, and change needs to be at many levels to really make a difference. Including disabled people requires action at relational, community and societal levels.


In NZ, most disabled people with high support needs have impairments not visible to the eye - and for many that means getting information, getting there, and participating in everyday recreation opportunities is far from easy. As many disabled people are also on low incomes, this acts as another barrier to equitable participation.

In this, our latest Insights paper, we explore 'invisible disability', some of the ways it may affect people, and how as providers we can actively include a wider range of people in recreation participation.

Read our latest INSIGHTS case study to discover more


What's next?
Working with a network of thought leaders in the sector, the Recreation Aotearoa Insights Team have a programme of publications in development.

We welcome your feedback: insights@nzrecreation.org.nz
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