A woman whose blog post on her bowel condition received over two million views has launched a campaign on ‘invisible disabilities’ off the back of her new-found fame.
Sam Cleasby, aged 33, wrote a piece about a woman who tutted at her for using a disabled public toilet, despite having a condition called ulcerative colitis.
The article soon went global, with media outlets and readers alike sharing her story and tales of their own around hidden disabilities.
Now Sam has launched More Than Meets The Eye, a social media campaign for people with so-called ‘invisible disabilities’ to speak up.
The mum-of-three from Wales, Rotherham, said: “The response has been absolutely amazing, and I just realised that the issues around using accessible toilets are so much wider.
“I have had emails from people all over the world. There was a mum with autism who talked about being judged in public, and a man whose wife has dementia who appears fine from the outside, but he can’t leave her even to go to the toilet so has to take her into the disabled bathroom. There’s so many amazing stories, I felt a responsibility to share them.”
The campaign was partly inspired by the disability charity Scope, which also got in touch with Sam on the back of the blog post.
The post said: “I have learnt so much from the people who have contacted me, I had a chat with amazing charity Scope and they agree that more needs to be done to raise awareness of invisible disabilities.
“People with an invisible disability don’t want special treatment, but for society to be more aware that they exist, for everyone to think twice before judging someone who looks seemingly able bodied. More Than Meets The Eye is a way to bring the discussion of invisible disabilities into the lives of everyone.”
To get involved, share stories with the hashtag #MoreThanMeetsTheEye on social media, or contact Sam’s blog, So Bad Ass.