50 years ago, the wheelchair symbol was designed. Since then it's become one of the most recognisable symbols in the world.
By reimagining the symbol for those with invisible disabilities we're trying to help people see that the wheelchair symbol isn't just for those in a wheelchair, but for anyone with any condition which makes every day tasks difficult.
Symptoms of arthritis include joint pain and stiffness, which cause a severe decreased range of motion and mobility. People with arthritis can also experience redness, warmth and swelling.
Lack of mobility requires disabled parking, toilets and priority seating.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system becomes hyperactive or confused, attacking healthy tissue. The disease causes a reduction in white blood cell counts and can lead to painful inflammation of joints, kidneys, blood cells, heart and lungs.
The complications caused by Lupus can require the use of disabled parking, priority seating and accessible toilets.
A thickening of the skin caused by accumulation of collagen and injuries to small arteries. These symptoms are caused by an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue which occurs in two forms: localised and systemic.
Accessible toilets are required to dress any skin issues in privacy.
CMT is a hereditary condition affecting the peripheral nerves, also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy. Peripheral nerves (found outside the main central nervous system) become damaged and cause muscle loss in the arms, hands, legs and feet. It’s a progressive condition, which means the symptoms slowly get worse over time, making everyday tasks increasingly difficult.
Lack of mobility requires disabled car parking, toilets and priority seating on public transport.
People who are diagnosed with anxiety, experience severe feelings of unease, worry or fear. While this is a mental disability, the symptoms can be physical. Often requiring extra personal space, such as a disabled toilet.
During an anxiety attack, people can find space to relax in accessible toilets.
Inflammation of the airways and lungs of asthma sufferers causes airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness.
During an asthma attack, a person may need a disabled toilet or car parking space to minimise shortness of breath.
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition, which causes widespread pain all over the body. This chronic condition increases sensitivity to pain, fatigue and muscle stiffness. Normal activities become difficult, including sleep and memory problems.
Chronic pain conditions cause a lack of mobility, requiring disabled car parks, toilets and priority seats.
Previously known as manic depression, this is a mental disorder that causes periods of depression and elevated moods. Elevated moods can result in mania, hypomania and sometimes symptoms of psychosis. Depressive periods may lead to overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and suicidal tendencies.
During an episode someone with bipolar may need personal space in a disabled toilet.
Crohn’s and Colitis are both severe inflammatory bowel diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract. While Crohn’s can occur anywhere, from the mouth to the anus, Colitis is only in the lower intestines. Abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, fever and weight loss occurs during flare-ups.
Pain and the sudden urge to use the bathroom means sufferers need access to disabled parking and toilets.
Caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, depression leaves people feeling persistently sad for weeks or months. This can lead to feelings of guilt, low self-worth, loss of interest or pleasure, low energy and poor concentration.
When someone is feeling depressed, the personal space in disabled toilets can help.
High blood sugar levels over a prolonged period is caused by a metabolic disorder. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger. When left untreated this can cause many complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, damage to the eyes and foot ulcers.
Diabetes can cause frequent need for a disabled toilet. Self-medicating is also best with privacy.
This disorder of the brain affects physical coordination, often making simple tasks such as tying shoelaces or opening doors difficult. The lifelong condition may also affect speech.
The larger handles and closer proximity on disabled spaces are easier for people with Dyspraxia to use.
A common learning disability, causing problems with reading, writing and spelling. Dyslexia can cause confusion and difficulty while determining different shapes in letters and words. This disorder does not affect intelligence.
Priority seats are closer to signage in public spaces.
EDS effects connective tissues supporting the skin, bones, blood vessels and many other organs. A lack of support from the affected tissues results in loose joins, stretchy skin and sometimes life threatening complications. Suffers can also experience extreme tiredness, dizziness and problems with bladder control.
Weak joints and skin requires easy-to-use disabled toilets.
Bursts of electrical activity in the brain temporarily affect how it works. This can cause a wide range of symptoms, including frequent seizures.
Seizures can happen at any time, meaning it's safer to be seated in priority areas on public transport and disabled toilets. Disabled car parking spaces also minimise the time and distance epileptic passengers have to walk through car parks.
Narcolepsy and Chronic Fatigue cause excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations and a partial loss of muscle control known as cataplexy.
Unexpected sleeping patterns are safer in bigger spaces such as disabled toilets. Priority seating and disabled car parking also allow people to spend less time in dangerous areas.
This refers to reactions other than food allergy when the human body experiences a detrimental reaction to food or beverages. Symptoms often occur in the intestinal tract, however can affect one or more organs and systems.
Food intolerance can have unexpected consequences and require disabled toilets. Priority seating areas can also help them reach emergency destinations quicker.
Excessive sweating can occur in the underarms or the palms and soles of the feet. This common disorder can cause anxiety and depression and requires extra care in bathrooms.
Disabled toilets require privacy while maintaining excessive perspiration.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome causes abdominal pain without any evidence of damage to the digestive tract. This causes changes in bowel movements, which could include diarrhea, constipation or both.
People with IBS need quick access to bathrooms with plenty of space, while priority seating can help them reach disabled toilets quicker while moving around on public transport.
Sufferers often perform rituals or obsessions that occur repeatedly in both physical routines and thoughts. People with this mental disorder often feel the need to check things repeatedly.
Priority seats or accessible toilets help sufferers of OCD perform necessary rituals or obsessions.
Characterised by at least two distinct and consistent personality states, this mental disorder causes trouble remembering certain events beyond every day forgetfulness. Also known as multiple personality disorder.
Close proximity to exits on public transport help people who struggle with memory.
Determining the difference between reality and thoughts causes false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking and hearing voices which others do not. This leads to reduced social engagement, motivation and emotional expression.
Personal space in priority seats or accessible toilets help people perform everyday tasks easier.
Recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Headaches typically affect only one half of the head with a pulsating sensation that can last up to 72 hours. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, sound or smell.
During a migraine, personal space can help. This requires accessible toilets and priority seating.
Dementia is a mental disability which can include many other conditions such as Alzheimer’s. In the early stages, people often think of forgetfulness as a normal aging process but it can become much more severe.
When routines become difficult it helps to have priority seating and disabled toilets. If someone with dementia is a passenger disabled parking allows them to better locate the car.
A developmental disability that affects how people interact with others and perceive the world. Social interaction and communication are difficult for people with autism. Repetitive behaviours and sensory issues can also occur.
Priority seating and accessible toilets can help people with autism navigate uncomfortable situations.
While those with total blindness are often more noticable, there's a huge portion of partially blind people who we don't always notice.
Those with partial blindness could benefit from priority seating on public transport and disabled toilets.
Hearing impairment can occur at birth or develop in later stages of life due to sudden injury or a gradual condition.
Priority seating on public transport allows them to be near any visual aids for navigation.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early age and can have an effect on learning abilities.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by a distressing, frightening or stressful event in a person’s past. The traumatic events are often reli,ved through nightmares and flashbacks, often leaving sufferers with feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. When symptoms are severe and persistent someone may need to use accessible toilets for personal space.