Discover the facts about the Sunflower

There are many misconceptions about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. Below we dispel some of the most common of these misconceptions and also share some stats about hidden disabilities and the Sunflower.

 

Do I need to disclose my disability to get a Sunflower lanyard?

How can wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower benefit you?

You may find that people around you may ask what they can do to assist you, and you or your carer can use your Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to tell people who are aware of the Sunflower about the additional help you may need..

 

You don't need to share what your disability is to get a Sunflower lanyard

There is no qualifying list of invisible disabilities - you simply choose to wear the Sunflower to indicate that you may need additional support, help or simply a little more time.

 

Do I need to explain why I am wearing the Sunflower lanyard to get support?

You don't need to explain why you are wearing the Sunflower lanyard

The Sunflower symbol doesn’t focus on the invisible, it triggers a simple question ‘How can I help you?’ to focus on the support or understanding you need. Simply by wearing the Sunflower, you’re letting everyone know that you might need extra help, understanding, or just more time.

 

Do I have to wear the Sunflower lanyard all the time?

It is up to you to choose when to wear the Sunflower.

Hidden disabilities can be situational, for example, a nut allergy, some are temporary, for example, a hip operation or an injury, such as a broken ankle; or some are permanent but do not present all the time: for example migraines or Crohn's disease. Carry it with you so you can decide when you want to wear it to show that you need additional support, understanding or time.

 

Do I have to share what my disability is to justify the support I need when I wear Sunflower lanyard?

You don't need to explain what your disability is to be asked how you can be supported

There is no qualifying list of invisible disabilities - you simply choose to wear the Sunflower to indicate that you may need additional support, help or simply a little more time.

 

You don't need to share what your disability is to get a Sunflower lanyard

There is no qualifying list of invisible disabilities - you simply choose to wear the Sunflower to indicate that you may need additional support, help or simply a little more time.

 

How can you help to spread the word?

Share information about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower with local organisations and businesses that you regularly visit. Encourage them to visit this website and to acknowledge the scheme. We have awareness posters and digital signatures on this website here which you can download for free and either print at home, or add to your email or social media pages.

 

Where can I find a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower product?

Wear the 'I support' range to show your understanding of the Sunflower

We feel that it is important that everyone who has a non-visible disability and who would benefit from wearing a lanyard is able to access one. Sunflower Lanyards are available free of charge to customers from businesses and organisations who are members of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. As some people may be unable to travel to collect a free Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard or would prefer to have it delivered, you can order directly from our online store. Only the official Hidden Disabilities Sunflower design is universally and quickly recognised. Hidden Disabilities Sunflower products are strictly not for resale by individuals, businesses, or organisations - they are intended to be donated by businesses and organisations to their customers free of charge..

 

Do I have to pay for a Sunflower lanyard?

You can get a Sunflower lanyard for free from our Sunflower Members

Sunflower products are strictly not for resale by individuals or businesses.

Many of our Sunflower Business members choose to distribute Sunflower products to colleagues and customers, and they agree to do this for free. Take a look at our Sunflower map to locate them.

We have an online shop for those who want their Sunflower items delivered to them or to browse through a wider range of Sunflower products.

 

 

Is the Sunflower lanyard only used in airports?

You can use the Sunflower lanyard as you work, shop, play and of course travel

Since 2016 when the Sunflower was launched at Gatwick, thousands of businesses across a wide range of sectors have joined the global Sunflower network - ranging from retail, travel and tourism, and transport including over 200 airports - as well as railway networks, coach and bus services and ferries, education (universities, schools and colleges), healthcare, central and local government agencies to football teams, theme parks, theatres and financial institutions.

 

Can any business can be Sunflower-friendly?

Only businesses that subscribe as Sunflower Members are Sunflower-friendly

When a business joins, they commit to training their entire workforce using our Sunflower training suite - to know what the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is, to have a broad understanding of hidden disabilities and to be confident to support someone wearing it. Browse our Sunflower map to plan your journey and discover where you can shop, travel or be entertained with the Sunflower by your side.

Plan my journey
 

 

 

A few global facts and figures for you

Stat:An estimated 1.3 billion people experience some form of disability

This represents 16% of the world’s population or 1 in 7 of us. That figure is increasing due to a growing and ageing population combined with medical advances.

For many that disability is not visible and is acquired at some point in their life. It’s the largest minority group in the world, and it’s one that any of us can join at any time.

Source: WHO, March 2023

 

Stat: Persons with disabilities find inaccessible and unaffordable transportation 15 times more difficult than those without disabilities

Source: WHO, March 2023

 

Stat: Only 17% of people with disability were born with their disabilities

Source: Institute for Public Policy Research article Work for disabled people

 

Stat: Estimated 240 million children living with disability globally

Source: UNICEF, 2011

 

A few Sunflower facts and figures for you

Stat: 32% of Sunflower wearers use the Sunflower when shopping with 21% using it when travelling abroad

Source: Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, 2023

 

Stat: over 90% of Sunflower wearers would be more likely to visit a store that had joined the Sunflower network

Source: Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, 2020

 

Stat: over 70% of Sunflower wearers would recommend a store that had joined the Sunflower network

Source: Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, 2020

 

Stat: over 60% of road users in England using the Sunflower on their vehicle felt more confident and likely to use motorways

Source: Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, 2022