The Hidden Disabilities sunflower scheme is an international approach which is recognised by airlines (Including Air New Zealand) and a growing number of airports, tourism attractions and accommodation providers. It is a simple tool for you to voluntarily share that you have a disability or condition that may not be immediately apparent – And that you may need a helping hand, understanding, or more time in shops, at work, on transport, or in public spaces.
Globally 1 in 7 of us live with a disability. That is approximately 1.3 billion people. But while some of us experience a disability that is visible, many have a non-visible condition or experience a combination of both visible and non-visible conditions. These disabilities can be temporary, situational or permanent. They can be neurological, cognitive and neurodevelopmental as well as physical, visual, auditory and include sensory and processing difficulties. They can also be respiratory as well as chronic health conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, chronic pain and sleep disorders.
As diverse as these conditions are, so are your individual access needs and the barriers you face in your daily life. So you can opt to wear the Sunflower to discreetly be seen in shops, at work, on transport, or in public spaces.
If you’re travelling with a disability that is not immediately obvious, you may wish to wear a sunflower lanyard, pin or bracelet to discreetly signal that you may need additional understanding, time and support.
The lanyards, pins & wristbands, which are bright green in colour and decorated with an easily recognisable sunflower design, are entirely voluntary and indicate that a person may:
- Need more time to process information or more time to prepare themselves at check-in, boarding or disembarking
- Need clearer verbal instructions, as it can be difficult to understand facial expressions and/or body language
- Need help reading departure boards or signs
- Always need to stay with family or friends
- Benefit from more information on what to expect before, during and after their flight
If you would like a Sunflower to wear daily, to let those around you know that you have a hidden disability, click here to visit the Hidden Disabilities website.