The Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is fulfilling its commitment to a more inclusive and accessible environment for those with disabilities that cannot be seen by the human eye.

It is in partnership with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower that the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is bringing this awareness program to the city.

The lanyard is described as green with yellow sunflowers throughout the item. The purpose of it is to assist those with invisible disabilities, such as autism, ADHD, chronic pain, dementia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries, low vision, hearing loss, and anxiety disorders, among others, to subtly indicate that they may need for help or patience when visiting the airport.

Winnipeg airport staff in all areas are trained to recognize the symbol of the sunflower and what it represents, whether it is adorned on the lanyard or another article of clothing or accessory.

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"We know each and every traveller is unique, and so are their needs and requirements," said Nick Hays, Winnipeg Airports Authority President and CEO. "We’re proud to join forces with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to make the Sunflower Lanyard program available at YWG. This partnership further solidifies WAA’s commitment to doing everything we can to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone who travels through the airport."

For anyone wishing to wear the Sunflower Lanyard, they are available for pick up at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport for free at the Information Booth, located on the Arrivals Level next to Door 3, or the Valet & Away booth on the Departures Level near the top of the escalators.

Travellers are encouraged to keep their Sunflower Lanyards for their next visit and when they pass through other airports as there are over 160 airports worldwide that recognize the program.

"We are delighted to welcome Winnipeg Richardson International Airport to the global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network," said Paul White, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower CEO. "We live in such a transient world that is facilitated by aviation, it is important that passengers with invisible disabilities can fly when and where they want to. The airport environment can be difficult, and so airport staff are now equipped with the visual tool, the Sunflower, to identify who may need a little more time and are ready to ask how they can help."

The Winnipeg Airports Authority continues to encourage travellers to contact their airline at least 48 hours prior to their trip if they need additional assistance and to make arrangements.

Details about other initiatives to support travellers and visitors at YWG can be found in the Accessibility section of the WAA website.