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Re: Elderly and self identification as having a disability


From: Gillen, Lori
Date: May 24, 2016 9:00AM

Hi Jim-

I'm not sure this is relevant but it is my hope that people in my company self-identify as having a disability so that they can reach out for the help they need to do their job to their optimum capacity. I think that I may be planting some seeds, but for the most part those with invisible disabilities, such as depression and other mental illnesses still have a stigma. Perhaps that is what is going on with the elderly. They came from a time when no one talks about those subjects, or maybe they are in denial about getting old and the disabilities that come with it.

Lori Gillen
Specialist Technical Writer
McKesson Corporation
Newton, MA

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Jim Allan
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 10:32 AM
To: WAI-IG; WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] Elderly and self identification as having a disability

I have used, written, and repeated what I thought was a truism, but I don't recall when I first heard this ...

Some/many elderly (aged) folks do not self identify as having a disability, they respond that they are just old and things don't work as well as they used to.

Based on conversations with elderly relatives and others (aged and people in the disability field)...I found this to be true. Perhaps it was the way the question was asked.

Be that as it may, I was trying to verify/research this truism. When I searched on "self identification" and other terms -- of course I found forms to self-identify, demographics, services, etc. all about folks who have self-identified.

What I could not find is anything that verifies that elderly do not self identify because in their view they are not disabled, they are just old.
There may other subsets of folks who would/could be considered disabled but for whatever reason choose not to self-identify.

Do you have any insight/ideas...anything?

Jim Allan, Accessibility Coordinator
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
voice 512.206.9315 fax: 512.206.9264 http://cp.mcafee.com/d/5fHCNAq6x0SyMUMzuXb8USrhhjhupjvvhdEEFELcFKcECPpISHoHZalxOVKV1Bwlhd7bG0HqP9EVR51Al8eTo5m3hPX0GqevjQlZRCZJKqei3XW1ISrdCM0kW43cKZ1L3o4ild40wuvI3h0qf16iKDDX05jEgcOXQ6PhYrvd7bapIQJwbV0g3hIQKCy0qfg-9VoQgr10QgkYZQQgig-4VeOJIVlwq8dEq82uCpg8Cy3jh0xaCA97OCmdKcCQPrNKVJUSyrh
"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." McLuhan, 1964