Here's How to Spot a Fake Disability


Annie Segarra, better known on YouTube and Tumblr as Annie Elainey, video blogs about everything from dating advice to disability advocacy.

The 25-year-old identifies as a “body positive, disabled spoonie,” and in a video posted on Feb. 4 (below), she jokingly tells her audience she’s going to give them clues on how to tell if someone is faking a disability.

“I’m here to tell you… You can’t,” she says. “In case you missed it, you cannot tell if a person is disabled just by looking at them.”

annie-smile

Segarra explains that parking spots are the most common place for confrontations, and though many individuals who call others out for “wrongly” using them feel like they’re trying to help, they’re not.

“Statistically speaking, if you see someone who parks at a handicapped spot and doesn’t look disabled to you, more often than not, they have an invisible illness or invisible disability,” she says.

annie-face

In addition to parking placards, Segarra notes that the concept of people in wheelchairs who can walk seems especially mind-boggling to others.

annie-surprised

Almost every time I get up from my wheelchair to transfer to a different chair, people are stunned. People’s eyes grow large. In case you missed it, some wheelchair users can walk,” she says.

“People who use mobility devices run a high risk of harassment whenever they stop using their devices,” Segarra adds. “A lot of us are scared because there’s a lot of ignorance in the world and a lot of people are ready to attack and ready to call us fakers. Just because they don’t understand that disability comes in different forms.”

Watch Segarra’s full video below:

For more videos like this, check out Segarra’s YouTube page.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Disability

To Those Who Have Been Called 'Special' Because of a Disability

One day, probably a while ago, you may have been blissfully unaware of what that word meant. “Special.” It’s a word people may use to describe other human beings who don’t exactly fit into the boxes they’re used to. It’s a word people might use to describe a disability or illness. It’s a word people could [...]

Living My Life in the Grey Area of Disability

When people talk about the “isms” in society, racism and sexism are usually the first that come to mind. Later in the list comes ageism. Often forgotten and misunderstood, is ableism. Ableism: Discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities. In the last nine months of my life, I have thought a lot about ableism. A [...]
nike shoes showin air pegasus 32, nike flex ron and lebron solider ix

Nike Releases More Shoes for People With Disabilities

Nike has released three more shoes with its FLYEASE entry system, designed for both kids and adults with disabilities. FLYEASE is a type of zipper that goes around the heel of the shoe. This makes it easier for someone to easily pull the shoes on and off. Nike expands its FLYEASE offering to include the Air Pegasus 32 [...]
pregnant woman holding her stomach

To the Friend Who Felt I Was Selfish for Getting Pregnant When I Have a Disability

My friend took one look at my stomach, then stared up at me in horror. It was a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. Not quite the response you expect when you run into an old friend. I watched her expression turn from horror to anger. Baffled, I glanced down at my stomach. [...]