Keep an Employee’s Invisible Disability in Mind at Company Events

The definition of an invisible disability in simple terms is a physical, mental or neurological condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities that not visible to the eye. And, because the symptoms of the disability are invisible, it makes the disability misunderstood and ignored.

Examples of an invisible disability include, but are not limited to peanut allergy, celiac disease and diabetes.

In 2008, the Americans With Disabilities Act was amended to to add additional terminology to major life activities as defined in the original law enacted in 1990. The specific terms eating, digestive system, immune system, cardiovascular system were added to expand the terminology that defined major life activities defined under the law. The addition of these terms now provide civil rights protections for individuals with allergies, including food allergies, and other dietary needs, like celiac disease. In an essence, it was updated to better recognize invisible disabilities.

That in turn, added another level of duty of care to an employer and meeting planner who provide food for  employees in the workplace or at events. In this piece published in’s Employee Wellness Issue, Tracy discusses how food and beverage affects many of your employees who have such an invisible disability, and the importance of being mindful of them when planning office activities, meals, or outside functions.

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