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Invi­sible Disabi­lities

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Supported by

Scope equals equality for disabled people

Disability affects more people than you may think, and it’s not always visible.

ITV has partnered with disability equality charity, Scope, to promote understanding of invisible disabilities.


[A succession of TV presenters and celebrities sitting in TV studios that are low-lit and otherwise empty.

First is Loose Women panellist Kelle Bryan, who's a black woman with wavy shoulder-length auburn hair.

Second, Paul Sinha from The Chase. Paul has light-brown skin and short black hair.

Third, Real Housewives of Cheshire star Tanya Bardsley, a tall white woman with tanned skin and wavy blonde-brown hair.

Lastly, Katie Piper, model and TV presenter, who is white and has long blonde hair.]

Kelle – Talk about me?
Paul – Ok, then
Tanya – Ok
Kelle – Mindful
Paul – Happy
Katie – Spirited
Tanya – Definitely special
Katie – I have a nickname in my home
Paul – Sinbad
Tanya – Bobbo
Katie – Mum, mum
Tanya – I’ve never even asked why
Katie – Mum
Kelle – I hate, hate
Katie – Waste
Paul – Wasps and Bees
Tanya – I don’t even want to tell you my strangest habit
Paul – I don’t know how long you’ve got
Kelle – I fidget with my nails
Tanya – Pick my nose and eat it
Kelle – This is random
Paul – I can play the piano
Kelle – I’m an ordained minister
Tanya – Miss Blackpool 2002
Paul – I would love to be a sports journalist
Kelle – I’d work for the UN

Katie – Defense Barrister
Tanya – Dinner Lady or The Prime Minister
Katie – What many don’t know, is I’m blind in my left eye
Kelle – I have Lupus
Tanya – ADHD
Paul – Parkinson’s Disease
Kelle – It’s part of what makes me
All – ME

VO – 1 in 5 of us is disabled. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Find out more at itv.com/disability

[Supported by Scope, equality for disabled people.]

60%

of people underestimate the number of disabled people in Britain

1 in 5

people are disabled

1 in 3

disabled people feel there is still a lot of disability prejudice in Britain today

Get more info on invisible impairments and conditions from our partners at Scope:

Learn more from our ITV Able colleagues.

Sameer Modha

Client Strategy and Effectiveness Lead

"Even the things that might seem most obvious, people’s experiences of disabilities can be really varied, so there’s no harm in asking ‘what would be most helpful for you?"

'There is a line in Clive James's autobiography where he says… I’m not going to do an Australian accent…’There’s only one thing worse than thinking you’re different from everyone else and that’s thinking you’re the same as everyone else. And I know I’m guilty of this too but there’s a really basic assumption people make that other people are the same. Unless there’s some indicator on the contrary - if you can see it or see some hint of it or some consequences of it, you might be able to figure out that you need to do something differently. But without a clue, our assumption of sameness takes hold, and that assumption can be damaging, because it means we might impose expectations on people or make them feel uncomfortable in ways that we just haven’t imagined.

When I first discovered, as an adult of some years, that I had ADHD, with a bit of encouragement from my manager, I shared an email with the team talking about it. And I was blown away by how supportive people were. I got lots of encouraging messages, either sharing similar challenges they had had, or asking how they could be more supportive. So I wrote a little presentation summarising what I’d learned in the process of educating myself about ADHD and invited my colleagues. If I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting any of them to turn up, but loads of them came along. They listened and asked thoughtful questions and we had a great discussion about how to work together better. About how they can get the best out of me, and how I could adapt to working with them.

So, my guidance to someone who wants to be a good ally would be three things, I guess. Firstly, try and inform yourself more and read up a bit. A little goes a long way. Secondly, don't be too embarrassed or to shy to ask. And thirdly, maybe don’t assume that you know would be most helpful. Even the things that might seem most obvious, people’s experiences of disabilities can be really varied, so there’s no harm in asking ‘what would be most helpful for you?’

Lisa Doyle

Talent Executive, Daytime

"People assume that having a disability means that they can see it and that all disabilities look alike. The comment I find the hardest to deal with is, ‘you don’t look disabled."

'I once interviewed a candidate for a researcher job who felt the need to disclose their disability to me, and, in doing so they actually showed me that they too, had the same disability and it allowed me to share some of my experiences and also make them feel comfortable with disclosing their disability.

People assume that having a disability means that they can see it and that all disabilities look alike. The comment I find the hardest to deal with is, ‘you don’t look disabled.’ Now… people will often say that perhaps as a compliment, but more than often it’s to say that I don’t fit the stereotype that they believe to be somebody who is disabled. And what does disability look like? It’s different for absolutely every individual.'

Benjamin Walker

Activation Executive

"There’s a key point of raising awareness of how individuals should be educating themselves, especially in the workplace, on how disabilities can affect different people."

'Hi, I’m Ben, and my invisible disability is Crohn's disease. I was diagnosed when I was 18, and I’m currently 24, and when I was diagnosed, I literally had no idea what Crohn’s disease even was. And I think that’s an assumption that people currently make, as well. A lot of people don’t know what Crohn's disease is and don’t realise how it can affect one person from another. And I think people have the assumption, and especially what I’ve experienced is that I get the, ‘Oh, so, I have a friend that has IBS’ and I have to explain that it’s something completely different. And I think it’s good that I have that added flexibility and I have a manager, especially at ITV, that has knowledge of what Crohn’s is and how it can affect myself, as well as it can affect other people.

But I think there’s a key point of raising awareness of how individuals should be educating themselves, especially in the workplace, on how disabilities can affect different people. I’ve definitely had that in previous employment where I’ve explained to somebody that I’ve had Crohn’s, and they say. ‘Oh, it can’t be that bad,’ or, ‘You were fine yesterday.’’ And it shows that there’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to that. And that … disabilities affect people in loads of different ways, and by saying all of that to a person with a disability, it can actually invalidate how they’re feeling and make them feel that their symptoms or how they’re feeling within themselves aren’t valid, which can make somebody really, really uncomfortable and not actually enjoy the workplace that they’re in.

So I think ITV are really good at offering that added flexibility and making sure that you don’t feel guilty for having a time where you might need to go to a doctors appointment or where you’re not feeling 100% like you usually would. And I think that’s the key thing of changing perceptions around invisible disabilities and making sure that people know about different disabilities and where they can come from and, yeah.'

For more videos visit:

ITV Colleague Experiences
Katie on set
Kelle on set
Paul on set
Tanya on set

If you need further support head to Scope’s website:

Link to the Scope website