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The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Program is available at Orlando International Airport

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, a day to celebrate the differences by being inclusive and supportive of those around you.

On World Autism Awareness Day, Orlando International Airport are wanting to remind everyone that to help ease the travels of those with autism and their families, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Program is available at MCO.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Program was first introduced by Orlando International Airport in November 2020 as a way to assist travelers to self-identify in a discreet manner to others, that they may require additional support while passing through the airport.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Program is available at Orlando International Airport

Mayor Buddy Dyer commented on the scheme "Love this program that Orlando International Airport has joined. Our community will continue to strive to provide the kindness and support like this that helps residents and visitors with autism (and their families) thrive."

History The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme® was originally created to act as discreet identification that the wearer, or their companion, has a hidden disability and might require additional assistance.

London’s Gatwick was the first airport to introduce the scheme in May 2016, and multiple other airports across the UK have adopted the sunflower lanyard. Based on the success of the lanyards in airports additional organizations in the UK have adopted them including supermarkets, railway stations, museums, and sport venues.

Although some other airports across the US are beginning to recognize the Sunflower Lanyard, we cannot guarantee that this lanyard will be recognized in other airports in the US.

How does the MCO Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Program work? Wearing a sunflower lanyard enables passengers to self-identify to staff that they have a hidden disability.

It is a voluntary program and passengers are not required to participate. Passengers may choose to disclose their disability on the card, but they do not have to.

They may also have a contact name and phone number on the card, which would be helpful if they are lost or are separated from their party.

Airport staff are trained to recognize the lanyards and to be understanding if additional help is needed.

Lanyards are available at the Main Terminal Information Booths, located on Level 3 (Departures Level, prior to the security checkpoint).

Wearing a lanyard DOES NOT guarantee fast tracking through security or any preferential treatment. Passengers are still required to arrange special assistance with their airlines and TSA Cares.

Thank you to our friends at Orlando International Airport for the details on this wonderful initiative.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Program is available at Orlando International Airport

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1 Comment

Nov 08, 2023

This is an amazing program. So many thanks for helping us find our way and the kindness you showed us. I hope this comment makes it back to the airport folks. I am so grateful.

Emma Walton News Producer

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