Amplifying Voices – The Horizontals: Not All Disabilities Are Visible

I found this talk by The Horizontals very moving for two reasons.

One is the issue of burnout. People are being given the message that you need to push yourself beyond your limit to succeed, and it’s severely damaging people.

The second is the acknowledgement of how people with disability are disproportionately impacted by our current workplace norms, including burnout culture.

Disability is still hugely misunderstood in our society.

I recently saw a picture online where a woman with a white cane for mobility assistance was holding her phone in front of her. And person after person was mocking her, joking about someone being blind using a phone.

A) Someone took a picture of this woman and posted it online without her permission, exclusively to make fun of her. That’s a terrible thing to do.

B) There are people who are legally blind but still have partial vision, and phones have the capacity to zoom in on text. You can also use voice commands on phones. And yet, almost every single person seeing that picture simply made assumptions based on their own world view, and minimal understanding of disability.

This video highlights some of the difficulties for those with invisible disabilities in particular. It’s a strong reminder that we often don’t know the full story. And it’s a good reminder that working towards a culture inclusive of those with disability will make the workplace better for all of us in the end.

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