Bradley International Airport Debuts New Service for Passengers with Hidden Disabilities

June 16, 2021

The Connecticut Airport Authority is pleased to partner with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program to provide an added layer of assistance to travelers with hidden disabilities.

“Understanding that not all disabilities are visible, the program subtly signals to our airport community that a passenger may need extra time, assistance or patience on their journey through Bradley International Airport,” said Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E., Executive Director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “We are very pleased to provide this extra step in ensuring that all of our passengers have an enjoyable and inclusive travel experience at Bradley Airport.”

"We are excited to partner with the Connecticut Airport Authority on this growing initiative to offer the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower products in the Northeastern United States," said Billy Caan, CEO of The Sourcing Group, who is the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program’s North America partner.  “This program is a very worthy cause, and creates a more comfortable, positive airport experience for people who have disabilities that might not be visible." 

Program participation is voluntary and is a way to aid individuals whose disability may not be immediately obvious, which for example may include autism, chronic pain, dementia, anxiety, visual or hearing impairment.

Passengers who may need extra assistance can request a sunflower-themed lanyard to discretely self-identify to the airport community. The lanyards are complimentary and available at the airport’s information center. Passengers who choose to make themselves recognizable to the airport community do not need to identify the nature of their disability.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program started at London's Gatwick Airport in 2016 and is now widely recognized across the globe.  Bradley International Airport joins the initiative along with a growing number of U.S. airports, and is the first airport in New England to launch the program.

While the program allows the airport community to provide an extra level of customer service care, wearing a lanyard does not guarantee fast-tracking through security or any other priority access. Passengers are still required to arrange any special assistance needed with TSA Cares and their respective airline directly.