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Prince George Airport adopts Sunflower Program to support those with hidden disabilities

Riley Sopel takes advantage of the Sunflower program at YXS.

Passengers travelling out of the Prince George Airport (YXS) now have access to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program.

This initiative is a simple tool for passengers to voluntarily share that they have a disability or condition that might not be immediately apparent, and would need a little extra help, time and understanding while onsite. Travelers with a non-visible disability can request a free Sunflower lanyard at the check in counters, security desk or Information Booth at YXS.

“The Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA) is always looking at ways to expand our customer service and accessibility programs, this was an easy yes for us when approached by the Sunflower Program organizers” said PGAA President and CEO, Gordon Duke. “If wearing a Sunflower lanyard helps one child, adult or senior with their travel experience, it is worth having this program in our terminal.”

“Travelling can be incredibly stressful, overstimulating, and inaccessible for individuals like my children,” said Amanda Sopel from Prince George. “Anything that can help create environments and spaces that are inclusive of individuals with diverse needs and sensory profiles are desperately needed in all communities and public facilities. Thank you to the Airport Authority for prioritizing accessibility and inclusion and bringing this much needed program to our local airport.”

 “We are thrilled for the launch of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower at Prince George Airport. YXS’s commitment to accessibility for all aligns perfectly with what the Sunflower stands for,” said Ruth Rabét, Business Director Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

The Sunflower program is globally recognized for helping people with hidden disabilities overcome barriers, physical and otherwise, that are often part of their everyday lives. One in six people, 1.3 billion worldwide, live with a disability, many of them not readily apparent. These can include conditions that are neurological, cognitive and neurodevelopmental in nature, as well as physical, visual and auditory disabilities. They also can include respiratory and chronic health conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, chronic pain and sleep disorders. Other airports across Canada who are part of the Sunflower Program include Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, and Winnipeg.

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