Derby Liberal Democrat Councillors call on Council to formally recognise the Hidden Disability Sunflower Scheme

November 25, 2020 12:32 PM
Cllr Steve Willoughby wearing his hidden disability Sunflower lanyard

Cllr Steve Willoughby wearing his hidden disability Sunflower lanyard

Derby Liberal Democrat councillors are behind a motion to be debated at the next meeting of Derby's Full Council on 25th November, that calls on the Council to formally recognising the Disability Sunflower Scheme, and for their disability forum to discuss the issue and consider if there are other actions that should also be take to widen understanding of this nationally accepted symbol.

The Hidden Disability Sunflower Scheme is increasingly recognised across the country. It has been used successfully at airports and train stations for a number of years as a recognised system of support for people with hidden disabilities.

The motion is proposed by Lib Dem Councillor Steve Willoughby, who has personal experience of this as he has the Dyspraxia hidden disability and has 3 boys with autism. Cllr Willoughby said "I know from personal experience how valuable this sunflower lanyard has been at airports, and has made the whole experience far less stressful for me. Just wearing it has made staff more understanding of my needs. It is just a simple way of letting people know I need special support as my hidden disability is not obvious as would be the case with a physical one."

The motion is being seconded by fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor Joe Naitta, who is the Council's Disability Champion. Cllr Naitta added "It's important that people with hidden disabilities in Derby can benefit from the Hidden Disability Sunflower Scheme. We want to make sure the Scheme becomes widely used in our city."

Cllr Willoughby and Cllr Naitta hope this motion will be supported by all Councillors and lead to improved awareness in all the Council's premises that people with hidden disabilities access.