Lately, I have been striving to increase visibility (and understanding) of supposedly "invisible" disabilities, especially my own. I've been pleased to see these types of efforts echoed in the world around me. Now, I have IBD which does not necessarily have a "visible" component, except in severe cases that result in an ostomy. And, ostomies are in many ways also "invisible disabilities" because they are almost never seen and rarely discussed. I am so thrilled to see Bethany Townsend's online modeling photos which reveal her ostomy. I will try to insert a photo & link here, but am still working to figure out how to do so in weebly--if the link doesn't work, readers can always google "Bethany Townsend ostomy photos."
The content on this website mostly comes from my perspective as a youth services librarian with disabilities. The further I travel along life's road, the more entwined these two parts of my identity become. Librarian: I have an MLS from Rutgers University and have working in public libraries for nearly 20 years. The focus on my career has always been youth services. Disabled: I've been disabled more than twice as long as I've been a librarian. My experience started at birth when I was immediately diagnosed with cleft palate. Also present was a non-verbal learning disability (NLD) for short. This was not formally diagnosed until I was 19, leading to years of frustration. My Tourette Syndrome was not present at birth, but surely started young as I don't ever remember living without it. The Tourette was also not diagnosed until adulthood, further compounding my frustration. Coincidentally, I was also diagnosed with IBD (more commonly known as Chron's\Ulcerative Colitis) at the age of 19. That was another easy diagnosis--as with cleft palate, they look and they see it.