Hidden Disabilities Sunflower – to make the invisible, visible

Published: February 13 2023
Last updated: May 12 2023

The Sunflower lanyard is commonly worn by people with disabilities to show staff in public places they may require extra support.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme started at Gatwick Airport in 2016. The Accessibility Team came up with the idea of a green lanyard with a yellow sunflower that passengers could choose to wear to indicate they have an invisible disability and may need assistance before, during or after a flight.

Soon enough, every airport in the country adopted the Sunflower lanyard, followed by UK rail providers, supermarkets, public places, private companies, and venues.

Today, the Sunflower lanyard is a globally recognized symbol for hidden disabilities.

Having a hidden disability like epilepsy can be frustrating, as the people who are not familiar with this condition tend to underestimate the symptoms and its impact.

Epilepsy brings along a lot of challenges, many of which aren’t often visible. After a seizure, people can feel tired and confused for several hours. Medication can have many unwanted effects that may influence their overall wellbeing, and the unpredictability of the condition means that daily activities can sometimes be overwhelming.

Moreover, because it is not a visible disability, staff in public places may not realise someone needs extra assistance, and it could be distressing to disclose one’s own disability to a stranger.

1 in 7 people has a disability worldwide. Among those, 80% are hidden disabilities.

To ensure that people with a hidden disability like epilepsy can be assisted in public places, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme offers low-cost lanyards and cards containing information about disabilities.

For more information, please visit their website.

safety equipment

More on epilepsy safety equipment

If your looking for other items to help make your epilepsy visible, check out our page on Epilepsy safety equipment and funding.

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