Hidden Disabilities Week

The Disability Advisory Committee, together with the Equal Opportunities Department, have launched a new initiative to raise awareness around disabilities that cause millions of people difficulty in their day-to-day lives but are not obvious to see. Officially launched at this year's CWU Disability Conference in Leeds, Hidden Disabilities Week will focus in on two hidden disabilities every day of the week by providing useful information, advice and support and guidance to those affected.

CWU head of equalities, Linda Roy explains: "The aim of the week is to raise awareness, trying to open people's minds to think and accept that not every disability is automatically visible for people to see."

Hidden Disabilities Week Leaflet

Day 1

Deaf Awareness

Former CWU rep Sally Joyner, who is now an expert on lip reading, gave insight into lip reading and other aspects of deaf awareness at the Disability Conference. More information can be found by downloading the guidance provided by the charity Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) or by visiting their website www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk.

Learning to lipread
Communication tactics - Do's and Don'ts

Day 2

Autism / Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Download the factsheets for more information

Autism factsheet
Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) factsheet


The factsheet on Diabetes will provide you with useful information and guidance.

Day 3


Systemic lupus is a chronic and presently incurable illness of the immune system, a condition in which the body's defence mechanism begins to attack itself through an excess of antibodies in the blood stream causing inflammation and damage in the joints, muscles and other organs.

Download the Lupus factsheet for more information.


Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

For information on symptoms, treatment and help and support download the Fibromyalgia factsheet.

Day 4

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a long-term condition, where the colon and rectum become inflamed. For more information on symptoms, treatment and help and support download the Ulcerative Colitis factsheet.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a long-term condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system. For more information on symptoms, treatment and help and support download theCrohn's Disease factsheet.

Day 5:


Dyspraxia is a form of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) that affects the fine and/or gross motor coordination in both children and adults. Find out more about this condition, its symptoms, treatment and help and support available by downloading the Dyspraxia factsheet.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes persistent fatigue (exhaustion) that affects everyday life and doesn't go away with sleep or rest. CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis. For more information on this condition download the Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) factsheet.

Day 6


Neurodiversity is a term often used to refer to a group of neurological development disorders which share common features. Find out more about this condition, its symptoms, treatment and advice and support available to sufferers by downloading the Neurodiversity factsheet.


In the UK 5.4 million people are being treated for asthma that is 1 in 12 adults. It is a long term condition causing coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. The seventy of these symptoms varies from person to person. Download the Asthma factsheet for more information.

Please support Hidden Disabilities Week by sharing this information with your family, friends and colleagues. If you require any further information or support please contact the Equalities Department on 020 8971 7356.

Want to Join Us?

For application forms and information on how to become a member of the CWU.