The Mall Blackburn has teamed up with community interest company Access Ability’s Dis-Labelled project to celebrate Hidden Disability Day, which will take place on Thursday 24th March.
It comes following the installation of Dis-Labelled signage to better represent the different and diverse types of disability and Mall staff have also been attending training courses that cover diversity and equality, inclusivity, autism and dementia to name a few.
According to statistics from Dis-Labelled, one in five people in the UK are disabled and 80 percent of disabilities are invisible.
The project is aimed at removing stigma around hidden disabilities and raising awareness of the many conditions that people face on a daily basis.
These include anxiety, epilepsy, visual impairment, asthma, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, autism and many more.
In recent weeks, children (and adults) have been invited to become Hidden Disability Champions by finding clues in store windows across the shopping centre, which outline invisible disability facts and spell out a word.
Everyone that completes the challenge, which started on Friday 4th March and will end on Hidden Disability Day, will be given a Hidden Disability Champion certificate and entered into a prize draw to win a £100 gift card.
Emma O’Connor, Director at Dis-Labelled, said: “The Mall Blackburn has been supporting us on various projects since 2021 and we’re really grateful for their backing.
“We’re looking forward to celebrating Hidden Disability Day on Thursday 24th March and the treasure hunt has meant that we can get our message to lots of people.
“I would like to ask everyone to help us in our mission by purchasing a Dis-Labelled T-shirt or pin badge from www.dislabelled.co.uk and take and share selfies with #HIDDENDISABILITY2022.
“The Mall has already adopted the Dis-Labelled signage to better represent the different and diverse types of disability and has been offering training courses to its staff, which cover diversity and equality, inclusivity, autism and dementia to name a few.
“We cannot thank them enough for their help and I can’t wait to see people enjoying the treasure hunt in the coming weeks.”
Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting Dis-Labelled with their campaign to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around invisible disabilities.
“The treasure hunt, which runs until Hidden Disability Day, is a brilliant idea and means people can learn about Dis-Labelled’s mission while having fun at the same time.
“We have already received wonderful feedback about the new signage and hope more businesses and public spaces across Lancashire can adapt and change as we strive towards inclusivity for all.”
Treasure hunt map entry forms can be collected and returned to the Ask Me Point in The Mall Blackburn.