Councillors at Lewes District Council last night (Thurs 17 September) passed a motion to formally support a scheme that discreetly indicates a person has a hidden disability and may need help.
Anyone with a hidden disability - which does not have physical signs and includes learning disabilities, lung conditions and chronic illnesses - can opt to wear a Hidden Disability Sunflower to show they may require additional help, understanding or extra time to carry out an action.
The motion, proposed by Councillor Sean MacLeod and seconded by Councillor Milly Manley, was carried with the following commitments:
- To officially recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower
- To officially promote what it stands for and its importance in breaking stigma
- To help promote Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to local businesses and encourage them to formally look at recognising it
- To promote that the council offices are Hidden Disability friendly and promote the Sunflower on its buildings so people can identify the council as Hidden Disability friendly
- To actively promote and encourage local Town and Parish councils and the County Council to recognise the scheme
Councillor MacLeod said: "I am very pleased we are supporting this fantastic scheme as hidden disabilities can make people's lives particularly challenging, painful or isolating. By wearing a sunflower lanyard, badge or wristband someone is indicating they have a hidden disability and may find certain situations difficult or stressful, causing them to act differently.
"This symbol allows us to give them the help and understanding they may need in their day-to-day lives."
Councillor Manley added: "Covid-19 has created a range of extra difficulties for people with hidden disabilities such as the wearing of face coverings in many public places. This can create complex issues for people with hidden disabilities and they may encounter stigma for not wearing a face covering despite being exempt under government guidance.
"By promoting the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, we will be making life easier for people whose disabilities may not be immediately obvious alongside helping to combat any stigma they face."
For more information visit hiddendisabilitiesstore.com