I like the idea of a site debating the problems of living with an 'invisible' disability. I would like to add my problem to the list.
After working in Local Government computer departments for many years I discovered that I was suffering from RSI injuries, by this time I was working freelance so I have never claimed any compensation.
I have always enjoyed working with my hands and was terrified that I would loose the ability to produce fine art work. I decided to do an art degree at Salford university while I was still able to. This put a manageable amount of stress on my arms and upper body. (And I got first class honours) I followed this with a PGCE course for teaching Adults, (working with adults with severe and multiple learning difficulties which I completed this June. The relentless need to use a computer, both for research and presentation of assignments, became a huge problem. I was not helped by my current GP because he "had not been involved in my initial diagnosis and subsequent operation" therefore he "could not write a report" for the college to obtain funding to purchase me a bigger computer, capable of running voice recognition software. By the time I got this much information out of him, and in the meantime learned for myself about DSA, it was too late to apply for it. So I bought the computer and software myself with my student loan, however, the time remaining was not enough to allow me to get up to speed with the software and complete all my outstanding assignments without resorting to excessive use of my hands.
The advice I received from the 'business advisors' at Salford University was to "get yourself a job back in computing to support your work as an artist".
Every job these days want you to be computer literate, particularly any of the 'temping' or part-time type work which would allow me to also be an artist.
However I am not considered 'disabled' even though I can no longer consider doing the computer work I am qualified by experience to do (which I might add would easily be earning me in excess of £25,000 a year) as I am capable of doing something that would earn me a pittance.
Definitely an Invisible Disability.
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