The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower was first launched at Gatwick Airport in May 2016. It is starting to be recognised globally and has been adopted in the UK by all of the major airports, many supermarkets, railway stations, leisure facilities, in the NHS and an increasing number of small and large businesses and organisations. Basically, it is used anywhere where people meet.
How it all began: The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower originated in 2016 when London Gatwick Airport asked “How can we recognise that one of our passengers may have a non-obvious disability?”. The answer was to create a lanyard with a simple sunflower design on a green background. It was intended to be a subtle but visible sign enabling airport staff to recognise that the wearer (or someone with them) may require some extra help, time or assistance when moving through the airport.
Why the sunflower?
Living with a Hidden Disabilities can make daily life more demanding for many people, but it can be difficult for others to recognise, acknowledge or understand the challenges faced. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower suggests happiness, positivity and strength and intends to allow everyone with a Hidden Disabilities to choose to be subtly visible when they need to be. It is a universally recognised flower and is gender neutral.
The design is a bright yellow sunflower placed on a green background so that it is clearly visible from a distance.
Next time you shop, remember to ask for your Sunflower lanyard at Customer Services in Sainsbury’s, Argos or Marks and Spencers.