Dallas Love Field airport joins the Sunflower
To offer a more inclusive experience for all travellers, Dallas Love Field airport is proud to announce its membership in the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program, making it the third airport in the state and first in North Texas to launch the service.
Just in time for a busy spring break travel season, the internationally recognised program is a discreet way for individuals to indicate that they have a disability and may need special assistance, additional time, or even space. The green lanyards adorned with sunflowers are available for free at the main information booth located near the TSA security checkpoint and Bruegger’s Bagels.
For anyone, airports can be a highly stressful environment. From the crowds and noise levels to the long walks from curbs to gates, navigating through a terminal presents challenges. For someone who has a disability, that experience can be significantly tougher. Up to one in four adults in the United States has some type of disability and about 10% of those are invisible disabilities, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s extremely important to give everyone an opportunity to feel heard and seen. For individuals with disabilities, both hidden and apparent, DAL hopes to make it easier and more enjoyable to utilise air travel services with this program. If there is a way we can help our passengers better navigate the airport or even empower them to be more independent, we want to do that for them”, says Interim Director of Aviation Patrick Carreno.
While the airport has offered standard special assistance services to passengers in the past, this program promotes awareness amongst stakeholders about needs that may not fit into a standard offering. In addition to providing Sunflower lanyards, DAL offers unique accessibility services such as oversized changing tables and Aira – a visual interpreting service. While these services do not equate to expedited security screening, it is the airport’s goal to better support its guests’ needs.
Los Angeles Abilities Expo
On March 10th, USA Sunflower team member, Holly Tyrer, visited the Los Angeles Abilities Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This huge 3-day event attracts thousands of people from the disabled community and Holly had the opportunity to spread awareness about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to vendors and visitors. Although the Sunflower is yet to be established in Los Angeles, Holly was thrilled to see other attendees wearing the Sunflower lanyard and the positive responses she received from vendors learning about the Sunflower for the first time.