case study

Not Every Disability
is Visible


Raising awareness of invisible disabilities to create positive social change.

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SITUATION

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are common, yet misunderstood, forms of invisible disabilities. While someone may appear to look ‘OK’ on the outside, the conditions manifest in the urgent need to use the toilet/restroom, making accessible/disabled toilets critical. However, people can face discrimination, harassment, and abuse for using accessible toilets.

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insight

93% of people with disabilities do not use wheelchairs, however signage on accessible toilets/restrooms across the UK continues to use this symbol, perpetuating the outdated idea that they are only for people with visible disabilities. A Crohn’s & Colitis UK survey found that people with the conditions would feel more comfortable using accessible toilets with more diverse signage.

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approach

Publicizing new toilet/restroom signage stating, ‘Not Every Disability is Visible’ along with a nationwide media campaign with a simple call-to-action, which challenged public perceptions of accessible toilet use, and encouraged people to contact top UK restaurant and pub chains to change their signage.

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OUTCOME

Crohn’s & Colitis UK supporters sent more than 53,000 emails to businesses across the UK and more than 17,000 restaurants and pubs have changed their signage, including Nando’s, KFC, JD Wetherspoon and Wagamama. A post-campaign survey showed that 83% (n=703) of people with Crohn’s and colitis and caregivers feel more comfortable visiting venues with the new signage.

Results

  • Reached more than 474 million people through traditional and social media channels
  • Secured more than 250,000 engagements via organic social media and #NotEveryDisabilityIsVisible trended on Twitter on day of launch
  • Social media users shared their experiences by creating their own imagery using the split screen campaign style, highlighting the relevance of the creative approach
  • More than 21,000 website views within first two months of launch
  • As a result of the education and support provided, companies including Nando’s adapted the signage to their own branding
  • 12 non-target companies including HSBC, Yo Sushi and Argos contacted Crohn’s & Colitis UK to install signs
  • FINALIST: 2020 Global PRWeek Awards: Healthcare Campaign of the Year; 2020 EMEA SABRE Awards: United Kingdom and Ireland (Mid-Budget); 2020 Communiqué Awards: Excellence in Healthcare Partnerships
  • WINNER: 2020 Communiqué Awards: Excellence in Public Health Communications and Excellence in Media Relations