One US airport is offering passengers with non-visible disabilities the opportunity to travel with confidence.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program is a FREE and simple tool for passengers to voluntarily share that they have a disability that might not be immediately apparent, and would need a little extra help, time and understanding while at the airport.
Under the program just launched at the Ontario International Airport (ONT) in Southern California, travelers with a non-visible disability can request a Sunflower lanyard at the Traveler’s Aid desk in either terminal or the ticket counter of any participating airline.
Program materials also can be mailed to travelers with a minimum three-week notice prior to travel.
Travelers don’t need to have booked Special Assistance to request a lanyard. Staff, together with all the stakeholders operating in at ONT, will be ready to support Sunflower wearers and their traveling companions.
The Sunflower program is globally recognized for helping individuals with hidden disabilities overcome barriers – physical and otherwise – that are often part of their everyday lives.
One in seven people – 1.3 billion worldwide – live with a disability, many of them not readily apparent. These can include conditions that are neurological, cognitive and neuro-developmental in nature, as well as physical, visual and auditory disabilities. They also can include respiratory and chronic health conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, chronic pain and sleep disorders.
Other non-visible disabilities include traumatic brain injury, dementia, learning difficulties (such as dyslexia), chronic health conditions (such as diabetes and Crohn’s disease) and mental health disorders.
And – a non-visible issue connected specifically to airplanes – fear of flying.
“At Ontario International, we are committed to ensuring access for all of our travelers and visitors, and are proud to provide the Sunflower program for travelers who might need a helping hand while at the airport,” said Atif Elkadi, chief executive officer for the Ontario International Airport Authority.
For more information on ONT’s Sunflower program, please visit: www.flyontario.com/Sunflower-Program
About Ontario International Airport
Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California.
It is a full-service airport which offers nonstop commercial jet service to nearly two dozen major airports in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Taiwan. More information is available at www.flyOntario.com.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA), a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and a current member of the North American Travel Journalists Assn. (NATJA).
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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