Behind the Mask: Understanding and Helping Individuals with Invisible Disabilities

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Webinar Description: “You don’t look disabled.” “You look fine.” Invisible disabilities sometimes, or always, limit daily activities, range from mild to severe, and vary from person to person. Because of this, people with invisible disabilities can feel stigmatized because of the health issues they have, but also because they “don’t look disabled.” Drawing on research and experience, the presenters offer a look at the need to raise awareness around invisible disabilities and their impact on equity in career development and the workplace. This presentation will cover four main categories of invisible disabilities (mental health, autism spectrum, physical health, learning disability), behavior cues associated with common invisible disabilities, how to better serve clients by asking questions that serve them best, learning when and how to refer, and understanding and providing information on disclosure rights and options.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify invisible disabilities
  • State how they can affect people and their career success
  • Recognize cues that people may be dealing with an invisible disability
  • Employ techniques on how to approach and help a client/student
  • Acknowledge disclosure rights and resources

Presenters: Cindy Edwards and Annie Montemayor

Cindy Edwards, Owner of Find You Fit, LLC, offers Coaching and Training services for individuals and groups. Cindy has been an active participant in both career development and training and development communities in the Twin Cities for over 15 years. She is an active member of ATD-GTC, MCDA, and NCDA. She holds an M.A. in Human Resource Development from the University of St. Thomas, is an AAC -ADHD Certified Coach, a certified in Brain Based Coach from the Neuroleadership Institute, and a NCDA FCD (GCDF) Instructor Certified practitioner.

Annie Montemayor is a career counselor at Capella University and a member of the Minnesota Career Development Association board. As chair of the MCDA diversity and inclusion committee, she works to expand the organization’s scope of equity and inclusion work and its education offered for practitioners. She is particularly interested in the topic of working with clients with disabilities. Increasing numbers of individuals with disabilities are entering college and the workforce, creating a need for increased training and attention on how to best support these individuals in their education and career goals. She has a master’s in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Kansas.