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. It is now 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 where people meet. The success of this simple but effective design and the positive response it has received, has increased awareness of the challenges adults and children with hidden disabilities face. Hidden Disabilities Sunflower wearers now benefit more widely from help being offered to make their daily living a little easier.
Why a sunflower?
Living with a hidden disability 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 disability to choose to be subtly visible when they need to be. It is a universally recognised flower and is gender neutral.