What is the sunflower lanyard for?

Sunflower lanyards are being used by UK airports and Airlines. The scheme was first introduced by Birmingham Airport.

Lanyards at Airports

These lanyards identify that a customer has a hidden disability.  This makes it easier for staff to approach customers and ask if they need help.

When a customer wears a lanyard, they receive assistance in a way that suits them.

Security is one of the challenging areas at the airport.  Security staff wouldn’t know if a customer has a hidden disability.  The lanyard identifies that they will need to take extra time to communicate.

Since being launched, the lanyard scheme is now at several airports and is also being used by some airlines.

Retailers are starting to take the leap.

Retailers have now started trialling this initiative in stores,  Sainsbury’s was the first supermarket to launch the scheme.
Shortly followed by Marks and Spencer’s in a bid to be the most accessible retailer.

The deaf community

The deaf community is classified as having a hidden disability.

I have had many conversations with deaf people.  Most of them have never seen a Sunflower Lanyard before.  They would never consider that this is for them.  So, the 11 million deaf people in the UK are not accessing this scheme.


Oftentimes, schemes like this are always well communicated corporately.
One thing that is lacking is the promotion of this initiative.  Particularly to the communities it benefits.

So, although it’s fantastic that these innovations are happening…  Please tell your customers!