You Don’t Need to See a Disability to Believe It Exists

I shouldn’t have to argue about where I sit and what I am capable of

Rachel Wendte
6 min readDec 18, 2018
Photo: Phuong Nguyen/Getty Images

By now, I assume most of the American population has seen the Tim Allen holiday classic The Santa Clause. In one scene, his son, Charlie, talks with his stepfather, Neil, about the existence of Santa. Neil challenges Charlie by asking him if he’s ever seen one of Santa’s reindeer fly. Charlie responds that he has (because when his dad becomes Santa, they have a wild night of taming reindeer and delivering presents to houses).

Neil says, “Well, I haven’t.” Charlie then asks Neil if he’s ever seen a million dollars, and Neil says no. Charlie responds with one of the wisest quotes I’ve ever heard attributed to a movie child: “Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

And that, my friends, is one of the strongest points I can make for people who have disabilities that aren’t obvious to other people.

There’s plenty of annoyance involved when you have a disability that people can plainly notice, but at least they tend not to question you as much when you exercise your rights to accommodations and resources. (And if they do, then I apologize in advance for my ignorance. I am sure it’s still difficult, and I don’t want to discount anyone’s…

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Rachel Wendte

Arts & culture enthusiast who loves all things creative, media related, and cleverly debated. #UXDesigner and Tutor @CareerFoundry.