Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program earns the City of Mesa, AZ the first-ever Autism Certified City distinction
Published: May 28, 2021
Mesa, Arizona is the first U.S. travel destination to adopt the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, a program lauded for supporting travelers with various needs as a way for them to secure additional support they may require while traveling.
Developed and launched in the United Kingdom, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is now a recognized icon that accessible travelers can utilize to discreetly be identified as having a disability. Through identification by service representatives in the hospitality industry, accessible travelers can be assured they will be given attention and support during their journey.
Visit Mesa, the city of Mesa’s destination marketing organization, is the first Arizona Visitor Center to offer the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower complimentary lanyards and bracelets. 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.
In addition to the Mesa Visitors Center (120 N. Center, Mesa), 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
- i.d.e.a. Museum
- Arizona Museum of Natural History
- COPA Health
With Visit Mesa leading the initiative, the City of Mesa earned the first-ever Autism Certified City distinction in late 2019. Visit Mesa’s Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program is endorsed by COPA Health, one of Mesa’s longest-standing private non-profit organizations dedicated to changing the lives of those with developmental, intellectual or behavioral challenges. Visit Mesa is also launching an online resource for accessible travelers planning trips to Mesa, www.AccessibleAz.com. The site is full of travel-related links to information and resources helpful prior to visiting the area.
To learn more about the Sunflower Campaign, watch an informative video on the use and application of the sunflower lanyards and bracelets at: www.visitmesa.com/travel-accessibility/hidden-disabilities-sunflower-program/