Grubs, tattoos and slay the dragon

| February 16, 2016

How can we change public perception of non-visible disabilities and empower sufferers to self-care? Susan Hughes is Director of not-for-profit organisation Dragon Claw, which provides information, support and self-care navigation for over 450,000 Australians.

Have you ever walked past a person disembarking a car parked in a disability spot and the driver or all the passengers look perfectly ‘able’ and you thought they were dishonest, bad grubs? I have! Karma has it that I’m now one of those able-looking disabled people parking in disability bays. One member of public knocked on my car window and shouted at me for parking in the disability spot. I offered to exchange driver’s licences and see him in court. Needless to say he stormed off shaking his head. This heated exchange lead me to consider having a tattoo inked on my forehead saying ‘Painful auto-immune disease… hiss off’ on it.

Since meeting my health tribe’s founder and co-developing Dragon Claw, I have met understanding, caring people to now concentrate on remedying the public perception of non-visible disabilities and the empowerment of sufferers to self-care and inform the community on how to be supportive.

Dragon Claw fills a significant gap in information, support and self-care navigation for over 450,000 Australians suffering with rheumatoid disease, Lupus and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). This is a world first dynamic approach to sufferers and their carers who have to manage their condition 363 days per year to sustain a quality of life within the community – only the remaining two days per year do they usually have their clinicians’ support.

So no more angry tattoos, now I have a Dragon-Claw card to hand to angry passers-bye that explain the symptoms and support for patients, close friends and carers with rheumatoid, Lupus and Juvenile Arthritis Diseases. Come on you grubs, I’m ready and waiting to kindly give you my Invisible Disability Verification Card now!

Disabled parking