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black background with. white text: Sunflower Lanyards for Hidden & Invisible Disabilities, @FINDYOUROWNHOPE and cartoon sunflowers

Let’s talk about Sunflower Lanyards for hidden/invisible disabilities 🌻 @hiddendisabilities_anz

Last year I wrote a blog post about tips for travelling with chronic illness. I asked you guys for advice and a few of you mentioned the sunflower lanyard scheme, so I decided to look into it and try it out.

What is the Sunflower Lanyards Scheme? 🤷‍♀️

1 in 7 people live with disability, but not all disabilities are ‘visible’

Disabilities can be permanent or fluctuate and there may be times you need more help than others which is why these lanyards can be a great way to indicate you may need a little extra help, guidance or time. And wearing the lanyard is often encouraged on transport and in airports.

Blonde woman wearing mask and sunflower hidden disability lanyard
Woman wearing mask and sunflower hidden disability lanyard

What does the Sunflower Lanyard mean?

🌻 The Sunflower is a globally recognised symbol for non-visible disabilities, also known as hidden disabilities or invisible disabilities. These can include: neurological, cognitive and neurodevelopmental as well as physical, chronic health conditions, visual, auditory and include sensory and processing difficulties. There is a list of 911 disabilities on their site if you want to know more, you can find it here:

What else should you know?

  • You don’t need to disclose your disability in order to get a lanyard.
  • You don’t need to explain why you are wearing the lanyard.
  • You can wear the lanyard anytime, more places are starting to recognise the symbol.

✈️ My first experience using the Sunflower Lanyard ☀️

I got to use one for the first time this year and wanted to share my experience. You can order a lanyard in advance from your airport or the hidden disabilities website. I contacted my airport and picked it up for free on the day I was travelling. (I’ve noticed some shopping centres have them at their information desks for free too).

I do feel people were kinder and more patient but I definitely still struggled to ask for assistance. ❤️ I think it’s definitely worth getting one and will be using it again!

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