October 17-23, 2021: Invisible Disabilities Week

WHEREAS, about 10% of people in the U.S live with a condition which could be considered an invisible or hidden disability, which amounts to approximately 32.7 million Americans; and,


WHEREAS, 163.5 million people - nearly half of all Americans -- are living with a chronic medical condition; the difference between having a chronic condition and a disability is the degree of impairment the condition causes in the individual's life; and,


WHEREAS, invisible disabilities are not inherently apparent from looking at a person, leading individuals with hidden disabilities to fight a battle for recognition and to seldom be acknowledged by the world around them; and,


WHEREAS, without obvious signs of disability, many of those with invisible disabilities are accused of faking and exaggerating their conditions, which translates to a lack of funding, accommodations, medical resources, and overall support; and,


WHEREAS, the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) strives to encourage, educate, and connect people and organizations touched by disability; with the help of the IDA, we may envision a world where people living with illness, pain, and disability will no longer be invisible;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 17-23, 2021, as Invisible Disabilities Week.