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Keolis Downer Northern Beaches becomes first operator to launch Hidden Disabilities in NSW

Keolis Downer has become supporters of the Hidden Disabilities initiative to make transport more accessible for passengers

Public transport operator Keolis Downer has become the first bus service operator in New South Wales to launch Hidden Disabilities through its Northern Beaches area.

Keolis Downer says not all disabilities are visible, such as autism, chronic pain, dementia, anxiety, visual or hearing impairment. Living with a hidden disability can make daily life more demanding for many people, but it can also be difficult for others to identify.

As the bus operator for Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore communities, Keolis Downer’s aim is to ensure everyone travelling on our network feels safe and supported, can travel with confidence and has a positive journey experience.

The operator says it’s proud to announce that it has become supporters of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard initiative in ANZ – Making the Invisible Visible!

From early December, Keolis Downer Northern Beaches will be the first bus service operator to roll out the initiative in NSW, closely following Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide airports; with the aim to build awareness of the Sunflower symbol across multiple industries so that those wearing the lanyard can be supported at all times.

The initiative was first launched in the UK in 2016 at Gatwick Airport by their accessibility team to enhance the customer experience and is now present in eight countries and expanding rapidly across the globe.

We have timed this program to align with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) which was acknowledged on December 3 and aims to promote an understanding of disability issues.

Making the invisible visible

Managing director of Keolis Downer Northern Beaches Mark Dunlop says: “This scheme supports our customers with hidden disabilities, a passenger who wears the Sunflower lanyard whilst waiting at a bus stop or travelling onboard one of our buses, will discreetly inform the bus driver that they may need more time or support during their journey.”

“Public transport is for everyone. We want all our passengers to travel on our bus network with confidence and we look forward to seeing this initiative expand across Keolis Downer operations in Australia for all modes.”

Sunflower lanyards will now be available for customers who would like to wear one to collect for free from the lost property desk at either one of its depots at Mona Vale, Brookvale and North Sydney.

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