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New metro ads focus on fibromyalgia and other invisible disabilities

Lana Bandoim's picture

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is focusing on people with health problems and disabilities that may not be visible to others. A new group of ads has been created with help from the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) to remind people to leave seats open for others. It is a positive step for the people who use the metro in Washington D.C. and cannot find a seat despite their disability.


The priority seats meant to be used by people with disabilities are often taken by others who refuse to give them up. If a person has an invisible illness such as fibromyalgia, then it is almost impossible to convince others to move. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has released ads that state: “Not all disabilities are visible. That's why it's important to keep priority seating clear at all times.” These reminders are meant to help people who need the seats and often cannot get them.

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The priority seats are deliberately placed near the doors for people to have easy access. The WMATA wants these seats to stay reserved for senior citizens and people with disabilities. It asks that people not challenge others who may not look sick on the surface. People who suffer from fibromyalgia and other health issues in Washington D.C. have started to notice the ads and hope they make a difference.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority also reminds people about the Metro Disability ID Card that gives a discount. The card requires you to fill out an application with a section that must be completed by your doctor. You must also provide photo IDs and other documentation to receive the discount card. It is important to note that chronic progressive debilitating conditions such as autoimmune disorders are covered by the Metro Disability ID Card.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain