Did you know that December 3rd is IDPwD? We didn’t know what it was, much less that there was a day for it! IDPwD is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Enrique and I recently had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a “young(-er than us)” couple from Australia’s Gold Coast. As we got to know more about them, we learned that our new friend has some significant PTSD-related issues. She wears a green lanyard and bracelet with sunflowers on them sometimes, and we asked about them.
Let me tell you about HDS - Hidden Disability Sunflowers. Some disabilities, conditions or chronic illnesses are not immediately obvious to others. For some people, this can make it hard to understand and believe that someone, with a “non-visible” condition genuinely needs support. Some people question whether you have a disability because "you don’t look like you have a disability”. The beautiful sunflower on a bright green background is a simple tool for individuals to voluntarily share that they have a hidden disability. Simply by wearing the Sunflower, you’re just letting everyone know that you might need extra help, understanding, or just more time.
Our friend was able to wear her lanyard and get assistance in passing through customs, for example, because being in large crowds of people raises her anxiety level to terrible levels and can cause a severe reaction for her, up to and including total dissociation from reality. She pointed out her bracelet and lanyard, and assistants helped her navigate the long lines and crowds. She could trust that she would be understood and cared for, even as she shook from head to toe.
Once we became aware of the benefits, we began to see HD Sunflower symbols on walls, and on people in various airports on our way home. If you or a loved one could use this wonderful sunflower and its cheerful bright green background, or if you’d like to learn more about the program, visit https://hdsunflower.com/us/. There is amazing information there, and the online store sells items with the approved logos. If you work for a company that could become an ally partner, there is lots of information there also on ways to become more involved.