Helping support hidden disability


Helping support hidden disability

If you’ve recently been through an airport, on a train or in a supermarket you may have noticed someone wearing a sunflower lanyard. But what does it mean?

Not all disabilities are visible. People we meet may be living with any of number of conditions which have an impact on their daily lives. These could be physical conditions including epilepsy, acquired brain injury, colitis and Chron’s disease; mental health issues; and/or learning disabilities such as autism or Asperger’s.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme® is a way for people to indicate that they would welcome discreet support, as they are living with a hidden disability. Over 1 million lanyards have been distributed to people in the UK. The sunflower suggests happiness, positivity and strength and intends to allow everyone with a hidden disability to choose to be subtly visible when they need to be. It is a universally recognised flower and is gender neutral.

If you work with or support people living with a hidden or invisible disability you may like to make sure they are aware of the scheme. It has now been adopted in the UK by all major airports, many supermarkets, railway stations, leisure facilities, in the NHS and an increasing number of small and large businesses and organisations.

To become a member of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme®, you are asked to commit to train your staff to recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to get a deeper understanding of hidden disabilities and learn how to approach and support customers with a hidden disability. This could simply mean giving them a little more time. You can also decide to provide your customers with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower products but Tabbers, the UK company who operate the scheme, ask that you make them available free of charge. You can find more information about the scheme here.

Disability, News