Learning about IDA

Mission & Vision

The Invisible Disabilities® Association (IDA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. IDA is about believing. We believe you! The frequently invisible nature of illness and pain may lead to disbelief about that illness or pain by those surrounding the person who lives daily with invisible disabilities. This disbelief can lead to misunderstandings, rejection by friends, family and heath care providers. It may also lead to accusations of laziness or faking an illness. We are passionate about providing awareness that invisible illness, pain and disabilities are very real! Our mission is to encourage, educate and connect people and organizations touched by illness, pain and disability around the globe. Envision with us, a world where people living with illness, pain and disability will be Invisible No More®.

Encouragement

Honor Awards – Every year since 2008, we have had the opportunity to honor organizations, businesses and individuals who are making a positive difference in the lives of people living daily with invisible disabilities. Some of the awards are given to individuals who persevere year after year through illness and pain. Others inspire us in the midst of their struggles and triumphs by sharing their invisible disability journey to lift up and encourage. Some are invisible heroes who focus their energy and lives on the support of veterans and first responders which are recognized through our Invisible Heroes® Campaign.

Invisible Disabilities® Week – The third week in October is a time to share your journey with invisible disabilities. In 2015, three US Governors joined together in proclaiming invisible disabilities week. Each day during IDW offers an opportunity to share your invisible disability story, tell a friend, wear blue or an Invisible No More® wristband and let people know who and what you are thankful for.  All of the IDW events are online and available around the world.

Education

Brain IDEAS Symposium – In 2015, we launched our Brain IDEAS (Invisible Disabilities® Education and Support) Symposiums. The Brain IDEAS Symposiums focus on Brain Disorders, Brain Health, and Brain Therapy. Nine expert speakers delivered dynamic, science, and story-filled talks on relevant topics such as Neuroplasticity, Mental Health, ADHD, ADD, Autism, Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, Nutrition, Microbiome, Mental Training, Therapeutic Humor, Stroke, PTSD, EMDR and TBI. Expert-led panels for questions and answers conclude each section allowing attendees to interact with the presenters.   Make sure to check out the videos of each session and panel as they become available online.

But You LOOK Good – Do your loved ones have a hard time understanding your chronic illness or pain, because to them you LOOK fine? But You LOOK Good is a book that gives those living with chronic illness and pain a voice about how they feel, what they need and how others can be an encouragement to them. It is a convenient, informative way to educate loved ones about what people living with ongoing illness and pain struggle with, fight for and need from their friends and family. BYLG is easy to read and provides practical ideas on how loved ones can be supportive.

Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign – Millions of Americans report allergic, immunologic, asthmatic and neurological reactions to perfumes, colognes, chemicals and synthetic fragrances. For these groups of people, just leaving their homes can mean risking the possibility of an exposure to chemicals in the environment. The CIA Campaign is an educational resource for everyone interested in learning how to lessen the chemicals in their own daily lives as well as to help public establishments become less threatening environments for people who experience mild to severe reactions to chemicals and synthetic fragrances.

Connection

Invisible Disabilities® Association Community (IDAC) – We have hosted online communities since 1999. In 2015, we were selected as a Trusted Partner and launched the IDAC on the Inspire platform. With the IDAC now on Inspire, our members have access to over 200 support communities, more than 100 Trusted Partners like IDA and over 750,000 members! The IDAC connects patients, families, friends and caregivers for support and inspiration.

Programs4People – We provide links to a vast number of resources, programs and services from private, non-profit and government agencies for people living with debilitating conditions through Programs4People.

Social Media – We have numerous pages across the social media spectrum. We encourage you to join in the conversations, share your invisible disability story with others, create new friendships, provide connection to your support groups and inform each other about upcoming awareness events.