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Lanyard scheme assists students and staff with hidden disabilities

Not all disabilities are visible. It can be difficult for others to recognize, acknowledge or understand the challenges faced by people with – for example – autism, chronic pain, dementia, anxiety, or visual or hearing impairment.

Now students and staff with hidden disabilities like these can wear a sunflower lanyard on campus to indicate discreetly to the people around them that they need additional support or a little more time.

The scheme is already in operation at major UK airports, supermarkets, railway stations and sports venues.

Students who identify as having a hidden disability or think they might benefit from the scheme can collect a sunflower lanyard from the Student Life Centre or the Student Support Unit in Bramber House.

Alternatively, students can contact the SU Students with Disabilities Officer, Callum Chapman, in Falmer House or by emailing to arrange collection.

Callum thanked the University for financing the scheme and said: “We hope that this scheme will highlight the need to be more open when talking about disability.”

Disabled students and staff wearing the lanyard will receive more support in the Co-op supermarket on campus. “The staff there have been amazingly supportive of the scheme,” said Callum.

More information about the scheme will be available for staff at an event in the Meeting House on Monday 9 December. Staff with invisible disabilities can also request a lanyard from the EDI Unit at Sussex, by emailing

Before then, all students and staff are invited to wear purple next Tuesday (3 December) as part of the global Purple Light Up campaign to draw attention to disabled people and their economic empowerment. Share your purple photos with the EDI Unit on Twitter @InclusiveSussex with the hashtag #PurpleLightUp.

Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex and Students' Union
Last updated: Friday, 29 November 2019


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