ICC Sydney partners with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower for latest inclusivity initiative


International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has joined forces with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, an organisation that supports people living with non-visible disabilities in their communities.

Hidden disabilities include conditions from ADHD, autism and Crohn’s disease to epilepsy and more.

“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,” said ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy.

“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.”

Justin Bruce, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower ANZ’s director, said one in five Australians live with a disability and of those approximately 80 per cent 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,” he said.

“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.”

Malu Barrios, ICC Sydney’s director of event services, said the partnership provides an invaluable platform for the 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,” she said.