The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is for people with hidden disabilities
A discreet way to make the invisible visible
Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around the wearer including staff, colleagues and health professionals that they need additional support, help or a little more time. Since its launch in 2016, it has now been adopted globally by major airports and venues and in the UK, by many supermarkets, railway and coach stations, leisure facilities, the NHS, a number of police, fire and ambulance services, and an increasing number of small and large businesses and organisations.
Above all, it is used anywhere where people meet. Find out where it is known near you using our Sunflower location map.
How did it all start?
In 2016, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower was designed and launched when London Gatwick Airport asked “How can we identify that one of our passengers may have a non-visible disability?”. We created a simple sunflower design on a green background for a lanyard – a subtle but visible sign to enable airport staff to identify that the wearer (or someone with them) may require some extra help, time, or assistance when moving through the airport.
The success of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower and the positive response it has received has increased awareness of the challenges adults and children with hidden disabilities can face. Hidden Disabilities Sunflower wearers now benefit more widely from help being offered to make their daily living a little easier.
Why did we choose a sunflower?
Without a visual cue, it can be difficult for others to identify, acknowledge, or understand the daily challenges faced by people living with a hidden disability.
We wanted a discreet sign which was still clearly visible from a distance as well as being distinctive, joyful, and dynamic. We chose a sunflower as it suggests happiness, positivity, strength as well as growth and confidence. It is a universally known flower. It intends to allow everyone with non-visible disabilities to choose to be visible when they need to be.