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Mesa becomes 1st US city to adopt Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program

(Instagram photo/Hidden Disabilities)

PHOENIX — Mesa became the first U.S. city to adopt the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, the city announced Tuesday.

Developed and launched in the United Kingdom, the program supports travelers with various needs as a way for them to secure additional support they may require while traveling and allows accessible travelers to discreetly be identified as having a disability.

Visit Mesa is the first Arizona Visitor Center to offer the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower complimentary lanyards and bracelets.

“When we had learned about this program and how widely accepted it was overseas, we knew we could deploy this in Mesa as a logical extension of our citywide Autism certification,” Mesa director of special projects Alison Brooks said in a press release.

When worn, the sunflower serves as a visual cue to trained visitor industry staff throughout Mesa who will then be able to recognize if that traveler, or traveler’s companion, would like additional support during their visit.

Through identification by service representatives in the hospitality industry, accessible travelers can be assured they will be given attention and support during their journey.

In addition to the Mesa Visitors Center, guests can pick up their complimentary Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyards and bracelets at these participating Mesa locations:

— Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport
— Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West
— Holiday Inn & Suites Phoenix-Mesa/Chandler
— Delta Hotels by Marriott Phoenix-Mesa
— DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix Mesa
— Arizona Museum of Natural History
— COPA Health

“We hope to see the use of Visit Mesa’s Hidden Disabilities Sunflower extend into other areas of our community, to support visitors and residents alike,” Brooks said.

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