Evansville Regional Airport (EVV) has launched a new collection of accessibility programs to make the airport more accommodating For EVVeryone, including individuals with hidden disabilities.
The global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program offers free accessories to airport guests, which discreetly indicate the wearer may need extra time or assistance while traveling through EVV.
The Sunflower Program allows travelers to self-identify that they may require additional support while passing through the airport. Sunflower Program accessories such as lanyards, pins or bracelets may be picked up at the airport’s Information Desk pre-security or requested in the airline gate areas post-security. Along with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program, EVV also announced two additional programs designed to bring comfort and calm to travelers – CAMSE Kit Sensory Tool Kits that are now available at various customer touch points throughout the airport and a new airport therapy dog partnership with Therapy Dogs International to commence in early 2023.
More than 100 airport employees campus-wide from TSA to EVV’s airlines and restaurant to airport customer service, safety and operations teams have trained on the programs.
“Evansville Regional Airport strives to provide an inclusive and accessible experience for all,” said Nate Hahn, EVV Executive Director. “This new collection of programs at EVV is another excellent opportunity for airport team members to demonstrate care and compassion to all individuals, regardless of ability. These programs are a few more steps towards making the airport experience and air travel journey enjoyable For EVVeryone, because everyone deserves to travel comfortably and confidently.”
Hidden disabilities include autism, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and chronic illness. Other invisible disabilities include respiratory conditions, as well as chronic conditions such as diabetes, migraines and sleep disorders, when these significantly impact day-to-day life.
Over 150 airports participate in the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program globally in more than 20 countries, including more than 50 U.S. airports. Other airports with nonstop service to and from EVV that recognize the program include Charlotte Douglas International (CLT), Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) and Orlando/Sanford International (SFB).
The Sunflower Program is voluntary, and passengers are not required to participate. Participants may choose to disclose their disability on the card but do not have to do so. They may also note a contact name and phone number, which can be helpful if separated from their party.
In addition to the new programs, EVV has also enhanced their online presence and experience for website visitors through a new accessibility website widget that instantly transforms FlyEVV.com into an accessible, user-friendly experience for all. EVV simultaneously launched a new For EVVeryone accessibility webpage that provides a one-stop shop for all things accessibility at the airport and throughout the travel journey. In addition to the new collection of programs announced today, the webpage contains TSA Cares accommodative screening information and contacts for airline pre-flight accommodation requests along with accessible facilities and resources available at EVV.
More information around EVV’s new accessibility programs and resources can be found at FlyEVV.com/ForEVVeryone.