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The Sunflower Lanyard: Recognising Hidden Disabilities

The Sunflower Lanyard: A Symbol of Hidden Disabilities Sahara Services NDIS

In our bustling world, appearances can often be deceiving. Many individuals carry hidden disabilities that aren’t immediately noticeable but can significantly impact their daily lives. That’s where the Sunflower Lanyard comes into play – a simple yet powerful symbol of support that’s gaining momentum across Australia and beyond, seeks to empower individuals who bear hidden challenges with the Sunflower Lanyard.

A Symbol with a Purpose:

The Sunflower Lanyard is a bright and cheerful accessory that holds profound meaning. It also can be lapel wristband or pins. It signifies that the person wearing it has a hidden disability, such as autism, anxiety, or chronic pain, which may not be readily apparent to others. Introduced in the UK at Gatwick Airport in England in 2016, this initiative is now making its mark Down Under, aiming to create a more inclusive and understanding society.

Who Wears Sunflower Lanyard:

The lanyard serves as a beacon for individuals who may require a little extra consideration and patience. It’s not just about disabilities themselves; it’s about acknowledging and respecting the challenges that someone might be facing. By donning sunflower lanyard, who have concealed disabilities can subtly communicate their need for assistance, comprehension, or alternative communication methods as they navigate their daily lives.

A Glimpse into the Sunflower Community:

While the symbol may be universally recognised, advocates believe that awareness in Australia is a journey yet to fully bloom. Justin Bruce, the Australia and New Zealand program director, shared that this concept of a non-specific, cheerful icon was conceived to foster inclusion and extend support across various organisations.

This network now encompasses countless public spaces and establishments, ranging from regional Victoria’s V/Line transport system to iconic venues like Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Affiliated organisations continue to expand, with most major metropolitan airports and transport hubs proudly embracing this symbol of unity and understanding.

Supporting Hidden Disabilities:

To better support those with hidden disabilities, we can start by educating ourselves about the Sunflower Lanyard’s significance. Small gestures can make a big difference – offering a seat on public transport, giving a bit more time in a queue, or simply displaying empathy. Creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable explaining their needs can foster a sense of belonging and reduce stigma.

Initiatives like the Sunflower Lanyard remind us that compassion goes beyond appearances. By recognising hidden disabilities, we’re taking a step toward building a more inclusive society where everyone feels valued and understood.

References:

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com

Sunflower Lanyards Now Available at Melbourne Airport. (2020, February 18). Melbourne Airport. Retrieved from https://www.melbourneairport.com.au/hidden-accessibility-program

“Hidden disability sunflower lanyard explained.” ABC News. Retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-04/hidden-disability-sunflower-lanyard-explained/102631220