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International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), managed by ASM Global, has joined forces with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower – an organisation dedicated to supporting people living with non-visible disabilities in their communities by raising awareness to help create a more inclusive society.

Sunflower displayed against a green background
Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program

The initiative will see the convention, exhibition and entertainment venue utilise its global platform as an international event destination to promote the inclusion of people with hidden disabilities, conditions or chronic illnesses alongside hundreds of retail, travel, tourism, transport, education, healthcare, theme parks, and financial institutions around the world.

ICC Sydney’s CEO and Group Director – Convention Centres, ASM Global (APAC), Geoff Donaghy said the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnership between ICC Sydney and Hidden Disabilities Sunflower will enrich the venue management team’s wellbeing and elevate its world class services for visitors.

“We strive to make a difference in our community and leave a positive legacy considering the ways we can foster accessible events and better support community engagement.

“Reflecting trending delegate expectations for accessible events as identified in our RESPECT: Shaping Events for Success report and building on the development of our inaugural Disability Inclusion Action Plan, our latest partnership highlighted through our Legacy Program is another critical service provided to attendees helping them to experience the most inclusive events possible,” Mr Donaghy said.

Director Hidden Disabilities Sunflower ANZ, Justin Bruce said one in five Australians live with a disability and of those approximately 80-85% are not immediately obvious to other people.

“Living with a Hidden Disability can make daily life more demanding for many people and it can be difficult for others to recognise, acknowledge or understand the challenges faced. Wearing the Sunflower discreetly indicates to staff that the wearer (or support person with them) has a hidden disability and may need additional help or simply more time.

“The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program is thrilled to support ICC Sydney in their quest to make the venue and its events more accessible and inclusive for all staff, exhibitors, speakers and attendees, including people with non-visible disabilities. We would like to thank all the people at ICC Sydney who champion the Sunflower initiative by offering their support to Sunflower wearers, and ultimately build a better society that all Australians can be proud of,” Mr Bruce said.

ICC Sydney’s team members have grown their capacity to support people with hidden disabilities through training opportunities provided by Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

ICC Sydney Director of Event Services, Malu Barrios said, “Our partnership provides an invaluable platform for our team to strengthen their knowledge and skills in welcoming and supporting people with hidden disabilities. We’ve already implemented training on how to best communicate and support a visitor that opts to wear the sunflower lanyard while attending events at ICC Sydney.”

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower has identified a range of non-visible conditions from ADHD, Autism, Crohn’s Disease to Epilepsy and many more. Visitors to ICC Sydney are able to bring in their own Sunflower lanyard to identify that they may require adjustments to support their experience. Through ICC Sydney’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, Accessible and Inclusive Events Guide and its industry leading Legacy Program, ICC Sydney is committed to elevating the positive social impact of business events.

To find out more about ICC Sydney and its corporate social responsibility initiatives visit https://www.iccsydney.com.au/about/csr or to share your ICC Sydney experiences on your social channels, tag @ICCSyd and use our hash tag #MoreThanAVenue. For more information about Hidden Disabilities Sunflower and their range of resources visit https://hdsunflower.com/au/.