In Adam Van der Zwan’s recent article published in the Feb. 29 issue of The Peak, “TransLink Shouldn’t Add Signage for Invisible Illnesses,” he states that we can only “properly accommodate those with physical disabilities, rather than invisible ones.” This opening assertion sets the tone for a misinformed and problematic commentary on the roles that TransLink has in accommodating those with disabilities.
Firstly, the idea that in order for a disability to be physical it must be visible, is simply false. Many invisible illnesses are physical ones. Examples range from illnesses such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, an illness that causes chronic joint pain, to fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder that creates muscular pain and fatigue, to many other possible combinations of pains, illnesses, and disabilities. For these people, a seat nearer to the front of the bus means the world.