International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on the 3rd of December each year, with the aim of promoting empowerment and helping to create real opportunities for people with disabilities. The day is about promoting the rights and well-being of people with disabilities and to raise awareness of the barriers that exist within our society that people with disabilities face everyday.
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 can be neurodevelopmental, physical, visual, auditory or neurological and range from autism and ADHD to cognitive impairments such as learning difficulties and dementia, as well as mental health conditions. They can also be respiratory and chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, chronic pain and sleep disorders. The list is endless.
As diverse as these conditions are, so are each person's access needs and the barriers they face in their daily lives. So some individuals with conditions that are not immediately obvious to others opt to wear the Sunflower to discreetly identify their individual needs in shops, at work, on transport, or in public spaces.
The Sunflower is here for everyone that needs it, not just on International Day of People with Disabilities, but everyday. We support people with invisible disabilities by training organisations that recognise the Sunflower so that their colleagues can support you, by supplying our Sunflower products and by continuing to raise awareness of non-obvious disabilities 365 days a year.
How many hidden disabilities are there? More than you’d think. Let’s tell the world about it!
We believe that the more we all understand about non-visible disabilities, the more we can help to improve the lives of people experiencing them. To celebrate International Day of People With Disabilities and raise awareness of the wide range of non-visible disabilities, chronic illnesses and conditions that Sunflower wearers experience, we need your help.
We're aiming to produce the world's longest lanyard. By sharing an invisible disability with us, you'll become part of our attempt! The current World Record is held by the Hong Kong Girl Guides' Association who created the world's longest lanyard measuring 2,871m or 9,419.29ft back on 27 February 2000 at the Mongkok Stadium in Hong Kong.
Each disability, condition or chronic illness that you share and that is added to our database increases the length of our lanyard and gets added onto a huge Sunflower card. We're setting our sights high and aim to have captured so many hidden disabilities that we'll produce the world's longest lanyard, exceeding the length set by the Hong Kong Girl Guides' Association, by March 2023. At this time, the Sunflower team will be exhibiting at Naidex 2023, the 50th anniversary of a conference that celebrates the disability community. For anyone unfamiliar with this event, Naidex offers support and resources for disabled people as well as those caring for or supplying to the community.
But we can't do this alone. Every contributor helps to reveal more of the world of hidden disabilities. So please join in here and help take the Sunflower lanyard on this journey by sharing our World Record attempt with as many people as you can!
If you'd like to attend Naidex 2023, you can register here for free.