In news

HM Courts and Tribunals Services have joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network to help people visiting court and tribunal buildings who may need additional support. It’s estimated that around 80% of disabilities are hidden and the HMTC are committed to making it easier for anyone visiting their buildings to receive the support that they need.

Speaking about joining, the HMCT said: “Becoming a full member of the network is part of our commitment to the national strategy for autistic children, young people and adults and follows recognition of the Sunflower during the Covid 19 pandemic.”

Sunflower lanyards are now available to collect in all buildings for court users, staff and judicial office holders to make it easy for people to discreetly show that they may need additional help or time.

Court staff have also received training to recognise the Sunflower lanyard and offer help as part of existing reasonable adjustment processes.

Nick Goodwin, CEO of HMCTs, said: “We’re delighted to become full members of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network. It’s important that we make it easy for people with a disability whether it’s visible or invisible to be confident that they can access justice.

“The Sunflower Lanyard allows our court and tribunal staff to identify visitor who may welcome a little help or need some adjustments to ensure a positive experience. I’m proud that we’re introducing new ways to help the many court users and legal professionals who visit us every day.”

Paul White CEO of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme said: “It’s great to see HMCTs join the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network. It follows in the footsteps of the Department of Work and Pensions and many local authorities in offering help to people who need it.

“Not every disability is visible, so recognising the Sunflower will mean that people with non-visible disabilities can visit an HMCTs building and the support, patience and understanding they need will be offered by staff who have received hidden disabilities training.”