Petition

Cartoon style drawing of a petition

I’ve been too busy today to write a longer post, so it’s a good opportunity to share a worthwhile petition. It’s asking the President, (I’m not sure why, but whatever), and the U.S. Patent Office to cancel the trademarking of the term “Invisible Disabilities,” which a nonprofit organization got for itself and is actively stopping anyone else from using.

As this Daily Dot article points out … and should be obvious anyway … “invisible disabilities” is a generic term widely used for a very long time to categorize various disabilities that aren’t apparent to others. This organization, the Invisible Disabilities Association, is basically meant to address the concerns of people with invisible disabilities, so they’re more or less on topic. The problem is that they are trying to claim ownership of a widely used descriptive term that is also viewed by many people to be an identity … something like an ethnicity. Either way, it’s ludicrous and ungenerous, and they certainly didn’t creatively come up with the term, so I have no idea how or why the Patent Office allowed the trademark to go through.

At some later date I might have more to say about the organization itself, which also happens to have a rhetorical style that I find a bit creepy and off-putting. I there may be structural and philosophical reasons for that, but I want to explore the role sentimentality in disability discourse. Is the sweetness and cheerleading approach wrong, or is it just a different cultural and emotional perspective on disability that I personally don’t like?