The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower for people with hidden disabilities
Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a discreet way to choose to make the invisible visible. It discreetly indicates to people that the wearer may need additional support, help or a little more time.
The lanyards are bright green and decorated with a sunflower design (Photo credit: RNIB)
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. Click here for more information on the history of the scheme.
Which hidden disabilities are eligible for a sunflower lanyard?
There is no qualifying list of disabilities for the scheme. Wearing the lanyard does not entitle the wearer to anything other than highlighting they have a hidden disability and may need assistance. It is a discreet way for wearers to choose to make their invisible disability visible. If you have a hidden disability and feel that you would benefit from wearing a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard, the University encourages you to do so.
Where can I collect a sunflower lanyard?
For those who do not already have their own, sunflower lanyards can be collected from Student Reception at Senate House. Please check opening hours before travelling.
///quick.wonderfully.gain. This 3 word address refers to an exact 3m x 3m location. Tap the link or enter the 3 words into the free what3words app to easily find your way to the entrance to Senate House using your mobile device.
Accessible parking is available at the rear of Senate House.
///highs.galaxy.hidden. This 3 word address refers to an exact 3m x 3m location. Tap the link or enter the 3 words into the free what3words app to easily find your way to the accessible parking at the rear of Senate House using your mobile device.
If I already have my own sunflower lanyard, can I use that?
Of course! The sunflower lanyard scheme has gained momentum over the last few years so some people may already have their own lanyard. There is no difference between the ones available nationally and the ones the University are providing so feel free to use your own if you already have one.
Can I use my sunflower lanyard to show that I am exempt from wearing a face covering due to a disability?
Whilst not everyone who wears a sunflower lanyard may be exempt from wearing a face covering in line with Government and University guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic, some people who are exempt may feel that this is a discreet way of letting people know that they have a hidden disability and therefore may be exempt. If this applies to you due to a hidden disability then the sunflower lanyard scheme may be for you.
Other options to show exemption can be found on the Government website here.
The University's guidance on face coverings can be found here.
Contact your department if you lip read or have other communication difficulties as a result of face coverings to access measures in place such as transparent visors.
Someone in my department has just started wearing a sunflower lanyard and I didn't know they were disabled. Can I ask them about their disability?
Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a discreet way for an individual to choose to make the invisible visible. It discreetly indicates to people that the wearer may need additional support, help or a little more time. Therefore, asking an individual wearing the sunflower lanyard a question such as "I see you're wearing the sunflower. How can I help or support you?" is ok. Asking personal questions about someone's disability may not be ok with some people so always respect the individual's wishes. Also, be prepared that someone may not need help or support at that time so always listen to the individual's response and respect their instructions. Never assume you know what help they may need.
For additional support and guidance, contact the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team or check out their support resources.
Where can I find out more information about declaring a disability and using the Staff Disability Framework?
For some staff (and students), the sunflower lanyard scheme can help to give you the confidence to declare a hidden disability that you may not have previously declared. The Staff Disability Framework for workplace adjustments helps you through the process of declaring a disability and accessing any workplace adjustments or support you may need. More information can be found on the Equality, Diversion and Inclusion team pages.
Whilst we encourage all staff and students to declare their disability, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a national scheme so wearers do not need to have already disclosed their disability to the University.
Can I wear a sunflower lanyard to show my support for people with hidden disabilities?
No. Unlike the University's other lanyard schemes such as the LGBTUA+ Supporters scheme, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is for people with hidden disabilities to make their invisible visible. We encourage all members of our community to create an open and inclusive environment for all colleagues and students at Warwick. You can show your support for the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower by including the supporters' sunflower badge in your email signature.
How to show your support
You can download one of these sunflower badges to add to your email footer.
The green badge is for those who wear the sunflower to show that they have a hidden disability:
The white badge is for those who wear the sunflower to show that they support those who have a hidden disability: