Recognising hidden disabilities with the sunflower badge

Posted by cc576 at Oct 08, 2020 05:50 PM |
The University of Leicester supports the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme is an initiative allowing those experiencing a hidden disability to discreetly indicate to people around them including staff, colleagues and health professionals that they need additional support, help or a little more time. Wearing the sunflower pin offers others a visual cue of a hidden disability, as it can be difficult for others to identify, acknowledge, or understand the daily challenges faced by people living with one.

A hidden disability is a disability that may not be immediately obvious. Hidden disabilities do not have physical signs and include specific 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 acknowledge the challenges faced and consequently, sympathy and understanding can often be in short supply.

Having a hidden disability may mean the individual is exempt from wearing a mask during Covid-19. Guidance around the criteria for exemption and exemption card templates can be found here. If you opt to wear a pin or use the card to indicate mask exemption, this is a personal choice, open to both staff and students.

If you would like to know more about how to get a sunflower pin, please get in contact with the AccessAbility Centre via email.

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