Traveling through airports isn’t easy. And it can be even harder if you have a hidden disability, one that doesn’t have obvious physical signs. And yet there are some things that may make travel easier for someone with a hidden, or invisible, disability including extra time and space to process information or respond to questions.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Program began in 2016 at Gatwick airport in the United Kingdom when an advisory group realized that although there were passengers traveling through the airport with apparent injuries or illness, there were even more who were traveling with conditions that were note readily seen. And that even though the condition was “hidden”, the person still might benefit from additional supports. And so the advisory group worked with local charities to come up with a way for someone to signify they had a hidden disability that could be universally known so that the employees at the airport could provide needed supports.

The program has been growing in popularity and there are now more than 140 airports across the world that participate in this program, and DIA joined the group in 2022.

If you would like to learn more about the supports provided to those traveling through DIA with hidden disabilities, check out this event being held at the Autism Community Store in Aurora on 6/29/24.