Not all disabilities are visible

Letter Writing

You can’t always tell when someone has a disability. But Grace Warnock wanted everyone to know about her condition, for a very important reason.

12-year-old Grace was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2015. This inflammatory bowel disease causes abdominal pain and severe diarrhoea, meaning emergency access to toilet facilities can be required at a moment’s notice.

Yet, because she isn’t in a wheelchair, Grace would often feel wrongly judged for using disabled toilets. This sparked a personal campaign to get more inclusive, accessible signs designed. After writing to her local MSP, Grace’s signs are now in force across Scotland, even inside the Scottish parliament.

This monumental change just goes to show what can be achieved when even one person speaks out. It’s the theme of this year’s World Ostomy Day on Saturday 6th October 2018, which is raising awareness among people living with a stoma, sometimes due to Crohn’s disease, that ‘Speaking Out Changes Lives’.

Ostomy manufacturers all over the world, including our client, Salts Healthcare, have been getting involved with the campaign and encouraging people to share their experiences via social media. While some people feel positive about having a stoma, especially when it has saved them from a life-threatening condition, many others may feel anxious and depressed.

World Ostomy Day offers everyone a platform to speak out – and gives ostomists the visibility and understanding they deserve, to ensure nobody is forced to feel like Grace, in the future.