Hidden Disabilities

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Activity to highlight how we cannot always see why someone might be differently abled.


Roll of paper (cheap backing wallpaper is good) or 2 sheets large enough to draw round a small child
Pencils (not felts in case it marks clothing when they draw round!)


2x groups. One child lays down on length of paper and other in group draws round.

Group 1 comes up with things we can see that might affect the way people are able to do things and writes them on the OUTSIDE of the person (Younger ones)
(being blind, being deaf, legs and/or arms don't work properly)
Group 2 comes up with things we cant see which might affect the way people are able to do things and writes them on the inside of the person (Older ones)
(heart conditions, arthritis, cancer, diabetics)

Give them a bit of time and then interrupt to see what they've got and add anything missed.
Then they write down for each of what is written how do we know about this persons condition.

Group 1 will be wheelchairs, glasses, hearing aids, guide dogs, walking sticks
Group 2 will invariably find it more difficult to come up with things

Come back as a group and emphasis how sometimes we don't know when a person is in pain or has a health condition and so being kind, patient and respectful to people and accepting everyone with their differing abilities is key.

Personally I avoid using the term 'Disabled' because of course this isn't generally the case. We say 'Differently Abled'


  • Disability Awareness

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  • Disability Awareness - Disability definition