New ‘Not Every Disability is Visible’ campaign targets restaurants and pubs

16 April 2019

One of our most successful campaigns is getting even bigger with the launch of the third stage of Not Every Disability is Visible

We are now targeting 15 of the UK’s largest restaurant and pub chains, encouraging them to install new accessible toilet signs and to train their staff to increase awareness of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.


Last year, you told us that 80% of you with Crohn’s or Colitis felt more comfortable visiting venues with the Not Every Disability is Visible signs installed.

87% of you thought the campaign has already had a positive effect in tackling stigma and reducing isolation.

With support from Janssen-Cilag Limited, our new campaign delivers on our ambitious plans to continue the fight to change public perceptions of disability and get our signs installed in even more locations across the UK.

We are targeting major high street brands like Nando’s, Wetherspoons, Greene King Pubs and McDonalds.

For these businesses, this is a small change, but for people with invisible disabilities like Crohn’s or Colitis, this can be life-changing.

To help promote the launch, Crohn’s & Colitis UK released the results of a survey which showed that people with invisible disabilities are targets of discrimination by the well-meaning UK public because they are using accessible toilets when they “don’t look disabled”:

  • 93% of the public who challenge a healthy-looking person for using an accessible toilet think they are “standing up” for the rights of disabled people or that it’s “not fair” on others(i)
  • 61% of negative incidents experienced by people with Crohn’s or Colitis for using the accessible toilets they urgently need, have manifested as verbal and/or physical abuse(ii)
  • 81% of people with Crohn’s or Colitis think that the public have little understanding of these conditions and are quick to judge those living with them(iii)

This stigma and discrimination needs to stop.

This is why we are calling for the general public, companies, and the Crohn’s and Colitis community to come together to help change accessible toilet signage and more importantly, attitudes.

These signs make a real difference to people living with Crohn’s or Colitis. We know that if the public better understand the devastating symptoms of these diseases, they will be more considerate and supportive of people who feel too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about them. It is vital that everyone gets involved in the campaign to help increase understanding of the true impact of Crohn's and Colitis.

Sarah Sleet,
CEO, Crohn's & Colitis UK

I’m always worried about being challenged by someone when I come out of an accessible toilet – I feel as though I have to plan what I would say before leaving just in case someone decides I don’t look disabled enough. I get really anxious, worrying about someone having a go at me for being in toilets that are ‘supposed to be for disabled people.’ It’s ridiculous. I know I’m allowed to use them, but people can be so cruel.

Marta Azmy Yousef
A new mother living with Crohn's, and charity campaigner

To get involved in the campaign visit, where you can download the campaign materials and show your support for people with Crohn’s or Colitis.

The Not Every Disability is Visible 2019 campaign activities, including some content developed for this website, have been developed in partnership with, and funded by, Janssen-Cilag Limited. EM-07644. April 2019.

(i) Immunology_DoF_08MAR2019_PC_002 (Not Every Disability is Visible 2019 Public Survey, March 2019).
(ii) Immunology_DoF_08MAR2019_PC_004 (Not Every Disability is Visible 2019 Patient Survey, March 2019).
(iii) Immunology_DoF_30Jan2019_MI_PC_001 (Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s Not Every Disease is Visible Campaign Questionnaire, August 2018).