The Sunflower is a symbol for those with a hidden disability and its use is growing in Brazil

The Official Hidden Disabilities Sunflower was launched in Latin America in April and Brazil has just sanctioned Law No. 14.624 to recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower as the national symbol for hidden disabilities.

Created in the United Kingdom in 2016, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower was launched in Brazil when Flávia Callafange, mother of an autistic child, discovered the Sunflower as a symbol to identify that someone has a hidden disability and may need additional support, understanding or time. Flavia contacted Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, the organisation responsible for creating the Sunflower and spreading it around the world, to help them to spread empathy across Brazil in public and private places.

Flávia, Felicia's mother, decided to change jobs to join Hidden Disabilities Sunflower and help spread awareness of hidden disabilities, such as autism, dementia, and schizophrenia, and today she is the Director of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower in Latin America.

Flavia and Felicia wearing red jumpers

Credit, photo: @anabranco10

Paul, CEO and Founder of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower said:

We are very excited that Hidden Disabilities Sunflower has been recognised by the Brazilian parliament as the national symbol for people with hidden disabilities. Now the Sunflower can be used the way it was designed, as an unobtrusive sign that the wearer has a condition that is not immediately apparent, indicating that he may need extra time, care and understanding from the community around him. We look forward to working with companies and organisations to deliver this consistent message across Brazil.”


Celebrating the Brazil law around the world

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower team were invited to the Brazil Embassies in the UK, Ireland and Denmark to celebrate the passing of the law.

Three people holding a Sunflower certificate

From left to right: Paul White, CEO of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower; Renata Rossini Fasano, First Secretary, Embassy of Brazil, London  and Minister-Counsellor João Marcos Paes Leme, Deputy Head of Mission

Two men, one holding a Sunflower certificate

From left to right:  Tristan Casson-Rennie, Regional Director Ireland, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower; Felipe Costi Santarosa, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Brazil, Dublin

Two people, one holding a bunch of Sunflowers

From left to right:  Stine Ringvig Marsal, Regional Director Nordics and Germany, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower; Camila Silva Leão d'Araujo Olsen, Counselllor, Brazil Embassy, Copenhagen

Aliança Rara - the first official partnerhip in Brazil

The first major partnership that Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Brasil established was with Aliança Rara - Union of Associations and Support Groups for People with Rare Diseases. The collaboration brings together over 90 associations across the country supporting more than 500,000 people and to date, Latam, Viracopos Airport, Galeão Airport, Parque da Mônica, Parque Bondinho Pão de Açúca are some of the companies that have joined the global Sunflower network

The Sunflower in Brazil

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, 'Making the Invisible Visible', originated in the UK and has the goal to promote inclusion and accessibility for people with hidden disabilities through the use of the Sunflower symbol that identifies the person with a hidden disability who may need help, understanding or more time in stores, at work, on transport or in public spaces.

The launch in Brazil took place in April, which means that people living with a hidden disability will now have easier access to the internationally recognized Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard.

Globally, one in six people live with a disability, which equates to approximately 1.3 billion people.

But while some people experience a visible disability, many have a non-visible condition or a combination of visible and hidden conditions. These may be temporary, occupational, situational or permanent. They can be neurological, cognitive and neurodevelopmental, among others. The global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network consists of businesses and organisations across every sector including, airports, and airlines, among others, who are able to identify a user of the official Sunflower lanyard and ask how they can support them to meet their access needs of these people, making the invisible visible.

Companies that join the global Sunflower network undertake to train their employees to offer users of the official Sunflower lanyard to provide additional support, understanding or more time. 

Become a Sunflower Member in five easy steps

  1. Log in to your business account or if you do not have one, register here.
  2. Choose and subscribe to the Sunflower Membership that works best for your business today (available in the memberships section of our online shop)
  3. Purchase Sunflower products to support your colleagues and customers with hidden disabilities
  4. Train your entire workforce using our Sunflower training videos*
  5. Launch and promote your Sunflower Membership to your community as well as the global Sunflower network*

*access restricted dependent on Sunflower Membership level