Berlin Brandenburg Airport is the first German airport to launch the Sunflower lanyard. The Sunflower on the lanyard is an internationally recognised symbol for hidden disabilities. People with hidden disabilities should be able to use all travel options at BER without any restriction. With the help of the lanyard, wearers are given the opportunity to clearly signal that they have a hidden disability. This way, everyone at the airport – the staff as well as fellow passengers – can be prepared for the fact that Sunflower wearers may need
assistance, as well as a little more time or patience during their stay at BER.
The lanyard is now available at all passenger information desks in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and at Mobility Service.
Thomas Hoff Anderson, Chief Operations Officer, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH: “Our focus is on the needs of our passengers and our goal is to make their travel experience as pleasant and easy as possible. That’s why we strive to reduce barriers and expand opportunities. By introducing the Sunflower lanyard, we are giving many people the option of nonverbally and clearly indicating their desire for assistance when travelling. Let us make travelling from BER even easier, while we create a new level of understanding for each other. I am convinced that the Sunflower lanyard will have a lasting positive impact on the travel experience of many of our passengers.”
Hidden disabilities can be as diverse as the people themselves. Just because you cannot see something does not mean it is not there. For people with hidden disabilities, it is often a big challenge to get from one place to another or through spaces or places with lots of people, like the airport, for example.
The spectrum of hidden disabilities is broad, they can be physical, mental or neurological and include, but are not limited to, autism and ADHD, cognitive impairments such as learning difficulties and dementia, as well as mental health conditions and speech, visual impairments or hearing loss. They also include respiratory and chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, chronic pain and sleep disorders that significantly affect daily life. Many people also have a combination of visible and hidden disabilities and illnesses.
The introduction of the lanyard was preceded by an intensive training and information phase for the employees of the airport company and the partner companies at BER. Because there is not one solution that can effectively help those affected on their journey. It takes people who respond to the needs of passengers at the right moment. The Sunflower lanyard gives employees at BER the opportunity to ask the wearer specifically for help.
The Sunflower lanyard was launched in 2016 at London Gatwick Airport as a symbol for hidden disabilities. The Sunflower symbol was designed to give people with hidden disabilities the ability to make the invisible visible, and to make airport comfort and travel easier.
The company “Hidden Disabilities Sunflower” was founded in the UK to meet the rapidly growing demand for support from people with hidden disabilities. It is now widely recognised in many sectors, including travel. Today, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower works to raise awareness of hidden disabilities and improve disability inclusion worldwide.
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