The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower: A Symbol of Support and Inclusivity in Travel

Traveling can be a great adventure, but it can also be stressful, particularly for those with hidden disabilities. Hidden disabilities may not be immediately apparent but can significantly impact an individual’s travel experience. In recent years, a new initiative known as the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower has been making travel more accessible and comfortable for people with non-visible disabilities.

Understanding the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a discreet yet powerful symbol that individuals with non-visible disabilities can wear when traveling. This sunflower symbol indicates to airport staff, colleagues, and health professionals that the person wearing it may require additional support, assistance, or simply a little more time during their travel journey. The Sunflower symbol invites understanding and empathy.

The initiative has gained widespread recognition and adoption, with over 220 airports around the world implementing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program. These airports have gone a step further by training their entire workforce to support individuals with non-visible disabilities, making travel a more inclusive and stress-free experience for everyone.

An Easier Travel Experience

A travel story from a Mid North Coast family was shared with Early Connections recently. Flynn’s family, embarked on an overseas adventure from Sydney. Seven-year-old Flynn and his family had great experience that highlights the importance of awareness and support in the travel industry.

Flynn’s mother shared their journey:

“We picked the lanyards up at Airport Information for free. Airport staff treated us like royalty and kept saying “sunflower” to each other. We were given separate security and customs. No rushing at all. And Singapore Airlines are boarding us first and have given us two extra seats!!”

The positive experience of Flynn’s family shows that small acts of kindness, understanding, and awareness can make traveling a lot easier for families.

For more information

If you have a positive holiday story like Flynn’s or want to learn more about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program, you can visit their website. Sharing stories supports improving accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities.

Pictured – Flynn wearing the Sunflower Lanyard with his sister Heidi.