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Please give
me space.

Everyone can help to maintain social distance



Social distancing can be challenging for everyone.

The 'Please give me space' initiative is a concept developed by Hidden Disabilities Sunflower in collaboration with The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the UK Government's Cabinet Office.

If you find it difficult to socially distance, you can display this emblem when you go out to signal to others around you that they need to pay attention and give you space. The yellow circle with a person in the centre has two arrows pointing out either side to indicate space; 'Please give me space'.

Watch our video below to find out about 'Please give me space':



  • Group of people at a business meeting
    Making sense of APD at work

    The Sunflower is often used by organisations to develop their awareness of invisible disabilities for both their colleagues and customers and is a great catalyst to drive disability inclusion in the workplace. In this guest blog, Alyson Mountjoy, Chair APD Support UK discusses APD at work.

    Our whole lives depend on our ability to communicate effectively, to understand what we hear. We tend to take it for granted that what we hear is what was said to us.

    This is not always possible for someone with Auditory Processing Disorder (known as APD), and this can lead to miscommunication. Not being able to understand or remember what is said, or not being able to follow instructions appropriately in any situation can lead to distress, ridicule, embarrassment, lack of confidence and self-esteem as well as anxiety and a host of other issues throughout life.

    What is Auditory Processing Disorder (known as APD)?

    To understand the needs of adults with APD at work, we first need to understand the nature of APD itself. You may not have heard of APD: after all it is an invisible disability, one that cannot be easily identified.

    APD is a processing disorder that affects what is heard. The World Health Organisation (WHO) also considers it to be a hearing disorder, one with a neurological cause. What we hear has to be processed by the brain in order to make sense. Even when speech is heard correctly, if the brain can’t make sense of what we hear, it will sound like a blur of noise. This is what happens with APD. APD doesn’t cause hearing loss, what is said is heard: it just might not make sense. But unlike hearing loss, the effects are also variable and intermittent, day to day, hour to hour, making APD harder to identify and manage.

    APD affects understanding and remembering what is heard, and more, but it does not affect intelligence. Although it is not a learning disability, it can greatly affect learning at any age, and can disrupt other aspects of everyday life.

    APD affects each individual uniquely

    APD can be acquired at any time in life, by anyone, and they may not know they have it or why they struggle. Gen

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  • Sunflower and Irish CityLink on side of yellow coach
    Irish Citylink is the first Coach operator to launch in Ireland

    We are delighted to announce that Irish Citylink has today become the first Irish Coach Operator to officially recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

    Barriers faced by people with non-visible disabilities using public transport are not simply limited to mobility issues. Irish Citylink recognises the importance of accessible travel for their customers and that by joining the Sunflower, they are enhancing passenger experience. By increasing awareness of non-visible disabilities and the Sunflower across their company, they are supporting passengers with non-visible disabilities to travel independently on their coach services. Those that travel with Irish Citylink can be confident that they will receive the support, assistance and understanding they require throughout their journey.

    Sunflower lanyards are available for free by contacting their offices in Galway or Dublin or by picking one up from their reception.

    General Manager, Frances Cahill said:

    “I am delighted that Irish Citylink is the first Coach Operator in Ireland to launch the Sunflower. It's imperative to ensure that we are always looking for new ways in which we can improve our services and support our passengers. At Citylink, our goals surrounding corporate responsibility include everyone having equal opportunities to travel independently knowing that they will be supported.”

    Paul White, CEO, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower said

    “We are delighted that Ireland’s largest Coach operator, Irish Citylink, has become the first coach operator in Ireland to join the Sunflower network. It is a clear demonstration that they understand the importance of making travel accessible for everyone, including people with non-visible disabilities.”

    With offices located in Ennis, County Clare, the Sunflower was launched in Ireland in 2021.

    Since the Sunflower was established in the UK in 2016, it has been adopted globally by organisations to support their colleagues and customers. The Sunflower is recognised across a broad range of sectors - ranging from retail, financial services, transport including over 140 airports, travel and tourism, education as well as healthcare, emergency service and entertainment.

    Learn more about Irish Citylink

    Read more »
  • Blond woman wearing sunglasses on her head holding a green lanyard with yellow Sunflowers in front of her
    Hovertravel is the first cross-Solent ferry operator to recognise the Sunflower

    Hovertravel is the first cross-Solent ferry operator to recognise the Sunflower further supporting their commitment to accessible travel for people with visible and non-visible disabilities. Customers can choose to wear a Sunflower as an indication that they may require additional support, assistance, or simply a little more time while traveling.

    Hovertravel’s employees have been trained using our bespoke Sunflower training and have already gained a better understanding of what an invisible disability is and how to become more confident to approach and support customers wearing a Sunflower.

    This announcement further enhances Hovertravel’s award-winning accessibility initiative HoverCare. This is a free service for passengers requiring extra help on their journey with Hovertravel. They can book HoverCare assistance.

    Hovertravel is at the heart of the community, they are committed to continual staff development and training to ensure that they are meeting the needs of their passengers which include commuters, holiday goers, and patients needing to travel to the mainland for medical appointments. 

    Neil Chapman, Managing Director, Hovertravel said:

    “Our commitment to accessibility has been certified by the government and our HoverCare imitative has been commended by regional and national award schemes. By partnering with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower we are continuing on our journey to make hovercraft travel accessible to all and we want to become the cross-Solent ferry of choice for customers with visible and invisible disabilities.”

    In 2020 Hovertravel was awarded ‘Leader’ level in the Government’s Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme. The Leader level is the top level of accreditation in the scheme, with Hovertravel being one of two companies recognised at this level, alongside Brighton & Hove Buses.

    Hovertravel is the only marine transport operator and only ferry operator to be accredited in the scheme. Having launched HoverCare in 2016, the Isle of Wight ferry company has developed the initiative from a series of comprehensive internal training procedures into a company-wide approach that regularly shares best practices with other businesses.

    Learn more about Hovertravel



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  • Steven Mifsud smiling on a mountain ridge in the sun
    Cochlear implant with Steven Mifsud

    “And at first, high pitched sounds were absolutely unbearable. So if somebody opened a package of crisps I had to leave the room. I couldn't stand it.”

    Steven Mifsud MBE joins us on the Sunflower Conversations to talk about his cochlear implant, which is a small, complex electronic device that helps provide a sense of sound which enables him to hear.

    Steven explains what the difference is like between a world of silence and non-stop sound. Since his first hearing aid at the age of two, technological advances have come a long way, and the sounds that he is now able to hear are vastly improved.

    We discuss the social and medical model of disability and how they differ, as wel

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  • LexisNexis logo
    LexisNexis Risk Solutions joins the Sunflower

    We are delighted that LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, with offices throughout the world, LexisNexis Risk Solutions is committed to cultivating an inclusive and diverse workforce and prioritising equity at all stages of the employee experience. Its recent launch of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower and drive to embed the Sunflower throughout all levels of the company support its global commitment to fostering a disability-supportive workplace.

    LexisNexis® Risk Solutions Group is a portfolio of brands that span multiple industries providing customers with innovative technologies, information-based analytics and decision tools and data services. Our brands provide market-specific solutions that help our customers solve problems, make better decisions, stay compliant, reduce risk and improve their operations.

    Learn more about LexisNexis® Risk Solutions Gr

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  • Photograph of Urbino castle at night
    Ancona International Airport in Italy joins the Sunflower

    We are delighted that Ancona Airport is joining the global Sunflower network of international airports and flight companies offering their passengers with non-visible disabilities the opportunity to travel with confidence.

    Those who need extra help, time and understanding at the airport can request a "Sunflower lanyard" at the check-in desk of their flight. Sunflower wearers don’t need to have booked Special Assistance to request a lanyard.  Staff, together with all the stakeholders operating in at Ancona airport, will be ready to support Sunflower wearers and their travelling companions.

    Wearing the Sunflower does not grant access to the Security and Boarding fast track lane.

    The Ancona International Airport is located in the Marche Region in the center of Italy. In the Marche, located on the Adriatic Sea, you can explore majestic Roman ruins, soaring Gothic architecture, massive medieval castles and sublime Renaissance palaces that house some of the richest a

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