What is a Dynamic Disability?

The image has a light mint background with "What is a dynamic disability?" in large dark teal text. An Arrow points to the right in a dark teal circle. In a smaller dark teal text "by Ash, who is dynamically disabled" is below the previous. A dark teal stripe is on the bottom with the Instagram handle "@chaotic.notions"

A dynamic disability that fluctuates in severity and results in being able to perform tasks or activities sometimes but not other times. Brianne Benness first coined the term dynamic disability in 2019 in order to express how her chronic illness differs from a static disability.

A dynamic disability has unique challenges that come with fluctuation in severity. This can look like sometimes needing different mobility aids, accommodations, or levels of support. It can feel like sometimes you can do a lot and that sometimes you can't.

Depending on an individual's disability, it can fluctuate based on flare-ups, becoming ill, injured, or meeting a threshold of ability. A person may be able to walk without aids for a short distance and reach a threshold of ability where they are no longer able to do so. A chronically ill person may have significantly more ability until they become sick or a flareup strikes.

For example, as a dynamically disabled person, when I set up my first market initially I was able to walk around without mobility aids. As my knees started to hurt, pop, and hyperextend, I would start tripping and struggling to walk without an aid. When a bystander first saw me, my disability looked invisible. It wasn't until my gait changed that I was even perceived as disabled. 

For me, living with a dynamic disability presents a dichotomy of experience where sometimes I feel like I could do anything but other times I feel dependent on other's for help. I've learned how to roll with the punches and manage my spoons so that I can do things that are important to me. (Read up on the Spoon Theory if you haven't already)

 Hopefully this helps y'all learn something new today. 

Back to blog

Our Blog is Ad-free

We plan on keeping it that way! Free of advertisements and junk that could prevent you from enjoying our blog.

If you'd like to support us, you can tip or shop at our store!