Hidden Disabilities

CSULB is Embracing the Sunflower as a Symbol of Non-Apparent Disabilities on Campus

BMAC has updated our campaign language to be inclusive of ‘non-apparent’ over ‘invisible’ terminology to be in support of affirming a person’s disability existence and experience.

If you see a student wearing a sunflower or any Elbee and the Sunflower merchandise, know they may be a person with a non-apparent disability and may need additional support or they may be sharing their allyship of individuals with non-apparent disabilities.

Read more to learn about: what a Non-Apparent Disability is, the Non-Apparent Disabilities Sunflower, and some do’s and don’ts.

Some disabilities are non-apparent, meaning, the conditions or impacts of the disability are not necessarily observable to others. Non-apparent disabilities can be physical, mental, or neurological, and their conditions significantly affect daily activities such as studying, working, shopping, and transportation. Although there are challenges, people with non-apparent disabilities can function actively in their schools, workplaces, families, and hobbies. However, individuals with non-apparent disabilities may need understanding and support from others so that they can achieve their goals in life.

The sunflower has become a symbol for people with non-apparent disabilities. Many European airports have adopted the use of a green lanyard with sunflowers as a symbol to airport staff to signify a person with a non-apparent disability. You can read more about this on the BBC’s digital platform The Social. Wearing the sunflower as a symbol of a non-apparent disability also allows people with a non-apparent disability to disclose that they have a non-apparent disability without having to disclose the specific disability

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Aphasia
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Diabetes (Type 1 And 2)
  • Dyslexia
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Functional Neurological Disorder
  • Hemophilia
  • Long-Covid
  • Lupus
  • Migraine
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myalgic Encephalopathy
  • Narcolepsy
  • Parkinson’s
  • Scleroderma
  • Stuttering
  • Tourette Syndrome

Do use Person First Language.Don’t label (e.g., deaf man, blind woman).
Do ask before you assist, and respect the answer you receive.Don’t assume a person needs help or try to assist without their permission.
Do focus on the person, not their disability or assistive devices.Don’t touch assistive devices or service dogs without asking first.
Be supportive and respectful.Don’t think of disability as a tragedy or problem.
Do recognize that some disabilities are invisible.Don’t assume the absence of disability if you don’t see one.
Do offer resources and remove barriers.Don’t impose limitations or assume what a person with a disability can or cannot do.
Do relax and be yourself.Don’t pity or admire.

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