RDU Launches New Program to Help Guests with Hidden Disabilities

Sunflower Program Supports Travelers Who May Need More Time or Assistance:

RDU has launched a new program to improve the travel experience for guests with hidden disabilities. RDU is partnering with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Organization to distribute sunflower-branded products that discreetly indicate the wearer may need extra assistance or time when traveling through the airport. The sunflower is a globally recognized symbol for non-visible disabilities, also known as hidden disabilities or invisible disabilities.

“RDU is committed to creating an inclusive environment and providing a world-class experience for all airport guests,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “Our team welcomes the opportunity to participate in the Sunflower Program and improve the travel experience for people with hidden disabilities.”

Hidden disabilities include dementia, autism and learning difficulties as well as physical and mental health conditions and mobility or speech impairments that impact day-to-day life. Travelers with these challenges can choose to wear a sunflower-branded product to discreetly indicate that they may need additional support or extra time throughout their journey.

“We are excited to welcome Raleigh-Durham International Airport into the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program,” said Lynn Smith, North American program director for the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Organization. “We thank RDU for expanding the Sunflower into the Triangle region of North Carolina. RDU is joining 162 airports in 20 different countries supporting travelers with non-visible disabilities.” 

Free sunflower-branded lanyards, pins and other products are available at RDU Information Desks in Terminals 1 and 2. Guests may also contact the Airport Authority at 919-840-2123 to make special arrangements for pickup. Visit rdu.com for more information about the Sunflower Program and traveling with disabilities at RDU.

TSA also offers special assistance to guests at RDU and other airports. TSA Cares is a helpline that provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances additional assistance during the security screening process. Travelers requiring special accommodations or concerned about the security screening process at the airport may ask a TSA officer or supervisor for a passenger support specialist who can provide on-the-spot assistance.