Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3) Our understanding of disability must expand to include people with invisible disabilities. Examine.(250 words)

Topic-  social empowerment

3) Our understanding of disability must expand to include people with invisible disabilities. Examine.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article highlights that our understanding of disability remains limited to visual markers of disability and in the process we end up ignoring the needs and aspirations of a sizeable section. Hence there is a need to broaden our understanding.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what invisible disability is, explain the current provisions for taking care of persons with special needs and how it fails those with invisible disabilities. Next, we need to discuss changes which needs to be brought in and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what is meant by invisible disabilities.


  • Highlight the protections in place for securing the rights of persons with disability – The United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disability tells us that persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others. The Rights of persons with Disability Act of India, 2016, also clarifies that disability includes people with mental illness, epilepsy, intellectual impairment and other disabilities which are not evident to a casual observer.
  • Highlight the problem in the current regime – Many people with disabilities cannot be identified by a casual observer as they don’t have the identity ‘badges’ of a wheelchair, or a crutch, or a hearing aid and thus their needs are often ignored
  • Discuss ways in which the situation can be improved – inclusion and empowerment of people with visible and invisible disabilities must include policy action by the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Justice. The criteria and process for identifying people and certifying people with disability must find processes to recognise the disability of people with fluctuating disability such as that experienced by many with severe mental illness. It must also include active responses to include people with invisible disabilities from agencies working in Inclusive sports, inclusive sanitation and inclusive community-based development are the catch-cries of organisations working in disability.

Conclusion – Give your opinion and discuss the way forward.