og button

Kate has lived with chronic illness since her childhood and understands the difficulty of feeling unwell and having to justify her sickness to others. In 2016 she was introduced to the term episodic disability and felt like finally, finally there is a term for her to claim without having to tell all the details of her symptoms and illness. While at a community support group, one of her friends expressed her frustration with riding the TTC as a young woman with an episodic disability. Kate jokingly offered to make her a button that said "My disability is Invisible" in order to combat disbelieving looks and the assumptions.

Kate made the first hand written button at work and gave it to her friend. Her friend was touched, saying that it was exactly what she needed to change her experiences navigating the transit system plus it gave her confidence. Kate brought Orvis on as a designer to create the original button designs. Equity Buttons was launched in April 2017. 



Submit your story or quote! How have buttons impacted your experiences? (see form below)

Many people think I am lazy and just want to sit down, but with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome I really do just want to sit down. I am 19 and look perfectly healthy, so when I ask for the comfy chair in the front of the room or ask for a seat while waiting for my next class, people give me mean looks and say “You don’t look disabled!” I am so excited to prove them wrong and point to my button.
— Jillian (Atlanta, GA)
I have a sports injury which makes it difficult to walk and to stand. I have been struggling with it for quite a while, but since I am walking without a cane, I have to endure pretty severe pain every time I take TTC to work and then home for 40 minutes at a time. People whose feet don’t hurt get to the seats much faster than I do. Even to the blue seats. This morning thanks to your wonderful creation I was given a seat. Meaning I might heal faster. It would still take months if ever, but I had a relatively pain free ride. Thanks to you!
— S (Toronto)
I’m in Vancouver and use them all the time. People don’t always notice them (and sometimes they pretend not to, I think) but it helps a lot on days when I’m not feeling super assertive to just be able to point to the button. It’s also good when people are wearing headphones and don’t hear me asking for a seat.
— Leah (Vancouver)
I have the button pinned on flap on my bag, they give me peace of mind. I’ll make visible if I have to use a blue seat, I have MS and you can’t always tell by looking at me. I often worry I just look drunk & so having the buttons help me feel less embarrassed and cues people that I’m not just taking a seat
— Heather (toronto)
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