Embracing inclusivity: Scitech’s support for hidden disabilities

In the UK, 1 in 5 people has a disability of which 80% are non-visible. So fostering inclusivity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a necessity. At Scitech, a commitment to creating an environment where every employee feels valued and supported isn’t just a goal—it’s a core principle that aligns with our values.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme

Recently, we took a significant step forward in our journey toward inclusivity by joining the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme. A colleague with moderate hearing loss found himself struggling to communicate effectively in certain work situations despite his best efforts. This sometimes led to misunderstandings and frustrations. Recognising the importance of creating a more inclusive workplace, he approached our HR department to ask if we would consider supporting him by joining the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme.

Emma Dawas, HR Director, said: “We didn’t hesitate. We now provide sunflower lanyards and badges for colleagues who may be experiencing difficulties due to hidden disabilities. This simple symbol not only raises awareness about hidden disabilities within our organisation but also signals a clear message of support and solidarity.”

Making the invisible visible

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme provides a discreet yet powerful symbol for individuals with hidden disabilities, indicating that they may require additional support or understanding. While these disabilities may not be immediately apparent to others, they can significantly impact an individual’s daily life. Whether it’s moderate hearing loss, neurodiversity, diabetes, or any other condition, the challenges faced by individuals with hidden disabilities are real and often misunderstood.

A symbol of inclusion and support

As our colleague explained: “I didn’t know how to communicate my needs to my colleagues because I was having difficulty adjusting to my situation with moderate hearing loss. Not only was I having trouble hearing what people were saying but I probably came across at times as being rude and antisocial. A decision was made almost immediately to purchase a bunch of sunflowers for anyone experiencing a problem with a hidden disability. This can include, hearing loss, neurodiversity, Peri/menopause, Asthma, diabetes type 1 and 2, epilepsy, migraine, cancer and more. The sunflower is a great symbol of inclusion and support and I’m really grateful Scitech has chosen to join this initiative.”

By adopting the Sunflower scheme, we have taken a proactive step toward building a culture of empathy and understanding. The sunflower lanyard encourages open communication and empathy among colleagues and sends a powerful message that everyone’s unique needs and challenges are not only acknowledged but also respected.