Have you got a hidden disability?!!

Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you need additional support, help or a little more time. Above all, it is used anywhere where people meet.

Since its launch in 2016, it has now been adopted globally by major airports and venues and in the UK, by many supermarkets, railway and coach stations, leisure facilities, the NHS, a number of police, fire and ambulance services, and an increasing number of small and large businesses and organisations..

A hidden disability is a disability that may not be immediately obvious and of course at the minute it's difficult to have health issues checked out. Bearing in mind the amount of adulteration of our foodstuffs and water over the years, it is more than likely you could suffer from a hidden disability especially bearing in mind the mental health issues that have been on the increase due to the lockdown.

Hidden disabilities don't have physical signs and include learning difficulties, mental health as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. They can also include asthma, COPD, and other lung conditions as well as chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders when those diseases significantly impact day-to-day life.

Living with these conditions can make daily life more demanding for many people. They affect each person in different ways and can be painful, exhausting, and isolating. Without visible evidence of the hidden disability, it is frequently difficult for others to recognise or acknowledge the challenges faced and as a consequence, sympathy and understanding can often be in short supply.

Do you qualify to wear the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower?

There is no qualifying list of hidden disabilities. If you have a hidden disability and feel that you would benefit from wearing a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower product, please do. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower does not entitle you to anything other than recognising that you have a hidden disability and that you may need some assistance, help, or a little more time. It is NOT a pass to be fast-tracked nor for any other benefit.

Lincolnshire Police say

We support the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard scheme

We are proud to announce that our Force fully supports a global initiative to help those who have hidden disabilities.

Since its launch in 2016, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard scheme has grown to include several police forces, businesses, supermarkets, and the NHS.

The aim is to help those whose disability is not visible, or obvious – for instance, those with autism.

A hidden disability can make life more demanding for many people, but it can be difficult for others to recognise, acknowledge or understand the challenges faced. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower suggests happiness, positivity, and strength and intends to allow everyone with a hidden disability to choose to be subtly visible when they need to be. It is a universally recognized flower and is gender neutral.

Officers and staff at Lincolnshire Police are now aware that people who wear the sunflower lanyard may require extra assistance.

Sgt Nicky Duke, who works in theProtecting Vulnerable Persons unit, is a strong supporter of the scheme. Her son, aged seven, is autistic and occasionally needs more time and support in situations.

She said: “There would be no obvious reason for anyone to be aware that my son is autistic, but sometimes needs just a bit more time and space.

“The lanyards are a fantastic and discreet way to indicate those extra requirements, and the scheme continues to grow in popularity. I’m really happy that we have adopted it here at Lincolnshire Police.

“It’s about being inclusive and making sure that we take care of that person’s needs, whether the disability is visible or not.”

Website details

https://disabilityhorizons.com/2019/08/the-hidden-disabilities-sunflower-lanyard-scheme-that-is-helping-people-with-hidden-disabilities/

https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/what-is-a-hidden-disability

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© 2020 CAROLINE STEPHENS

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