The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower and their partner in the UAE Topland – People of Determination, have today launched the Sunflower in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This move will enable people of determination living with a non-obvious disability in the UAE to access the Sunflower, a yellow sunflower printed on a green background. The Sunflower lanyard indicates to those around the wearer that they are a person of determination who has an invisible disability and may require support, understanding or a little more time.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is brought to the region by the organisation's new partner, Topland - People of Determination, an award-winning, leading supplier of assistive technology products and services for People of Determination. Topland participate in many projects both within the UAE and internationally to help businesses and organisations from every sector and industry improve their accessibility for people of determination.

Commenting on the official launch of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower in the UAE, Paul White, CEO, said: “We are really excited to announce our new partnership in the UAE with Topland – People of Determination. This expansion into the Middle East is a progressive step in both generating greater global awareness of the scheme but also making the Sunflower more accessible for people of determination in this region. Topland help businesses and organisations from every sector and industry improve accessibility for people of determination. From working alongside exhibitors at World Expo 2020 to, more recently, assisting clients in the banking and retail sector install hearing assistance technology, Topland provide products and services that help organisations make their work environment more accessible. As such they are the perfect partner to run the Sunflower programme in the Middle East. As part of this venture, Topland will provide our Sunflower training in both English and Arabic as well as opening an online UAE Sunflower store.”

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower launches at AccessAbilities Expo 2022, where 20,000 people from across the Middle East attend to experience the latest products and services that are available to assist people of determination.

Andy from Topland said: “World Expo 2020 highlighted to us the importance of the Sunflower and the impact it was having . . .this is where we first saw it being used to assist people. As an organisation that supplies products and services to assist people of determination, we see the Sunflower as a natural fit into our portfolio as it really helps people of determination.”

Around the world, 1 in 7 people live with some form of disability. And 80% of these disabilities are non-visible, that's approximately 1.3 billion people with an invisible disability. There is significant opportunity for businesses and organisations globally to develop their awareness of invisible disabilities and the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower provides the tools to do this.

Organisations that register with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower are provided with training to enable colleagues to become more confident in providing assistance to customers or colleagues that are wearing the Sunflower. This could simply mean giving them more time to prepare or process information, using clear verbal language or allowing them to remain with their families at all times. Businesses that sign-up to the scheme may also chose to provide Sunflower products for their colleagues and customers that have an invisible disability, free of charge. 

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower has been successfully operating in the UK since 2016. In addition to the UK office, the Sunflower has operations in: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Ireland and is recognised in over 50 countries world-wide.

With local representation, provided by Topland, and a dedicated, country specific website, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower will be better equipped to support both the Sunflower wearer and the organisations that register to support the initiative in the UAE.

How to join the Sunflower UAE

If your business is based in the Middle East and would like to support the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower there are three membership levels available: standard, professional and corporate. More detail as to what's included in the different membership packages can be found here. For more information on how to join, please visit:

Notes to the Editor

Topland's first priority upon launching the programme, is to ensure that the meaning of the Sunflower is properly understood by organisations that seek to recognise and support the initiative.

Before any business can launch the Sunflower programme, and during their Sunflower Membership, we ask that they commit to training all of their colleagues to identify the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, gain an understanding of what a non-visible disability is, and become confident to approach and support people who are wearing a Sunflower.

Once businesses have completed their Sunflower training and their employees are confident in  supporting people of determination, they will be able to start distributing Sunflower products to anyone with an invisible disability that feels they would benefit from wearing the Sunflower.

A full list of where the Sunflower is recognised is available on the Hidden Disabilities website: