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UK and Irish Airports Rolling out Sunflower Lanyard Scheme for Persons with Hidden Disabilities

Travelling can be an exciting time for many people. The anticipation of a change of scenery, a new adventure or just a well-earned rest. However, most people will also know the feeling of anxiousness and the nerves that come with having to navigate an airport, get through security and fins the right gate on time. For a person with a hidden disability, such as autism, epilepsy or an acquired brain injury, these negative feelings can be even greater.
To combat this, and to consider the needs of their passengers, a number of airports across the UK and Ireland, including; Heathrow, Gatwick and Cork Airport, have implemented a Sunflower Lanyard Scheme. The scheme aims to make the travelling experience for persons with hidden disabilities easier and more enjoyable.
With a Sunflower Lanyard, someone with a hidden disability can discreetly self-identify themselves to staff. Assistance from staff can come in many ways and include;

Similar programmes have been implemented in both Shannon and Dublin Airport in the form of wristbands which also aim to assist persons with a hidden disability.
In addition to these programmes, some airports have also opened sensory rooms for passengers, namely Shannon Airport (the first in Europe) and Manchester Airport. These rooms can serve as an escape from the busy environment of the airport and provided a soothing space for those with a neuro developmental disability.
To find out how you can receive a lanyard or assistance, provided in your chosen airport, make sure you contact the airport prior to your travel. In some cases, lanyards can be collected at airport assistance desks or ordered in advance.

For further information on the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme at Cork Airport click here
For further information on the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme at Heathrow Airport click here.
Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make facilities or services more accessible and inclusive, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail [email protected].