COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany International Airport has introduced a new program to help travelers with hidden disabilities or special needs. The Airport joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Organization by launching its Sunflower Lanyard Program.

“Albany International Airport is excited to be the first upstate New York Airport participating in this excellent program,” said Philip Calderone, CEO of the Albany County Airport Authority. “The Sunflower Program will enable the entire airport community to quickly recognize and assist individuals with hidden disabilities who may require additional support while navigating the challenges of an airport.”

The program helps those with hidden disabilities discreetly inform airport staff that they have a disability that is not fully visible. The sunflower lanyard alerts staff that this person may need special assistance or their patience would be appreciated. The Airport said employees have been trained for this program.

Hidden or invisible disabilities are those that are not directly apparent to others. These may include dementia, autism, hearing loss, brain injury, asthma, and much more. About 10% of Americans have a hidden disability.

Lanyards can be found at the Airport Information Desk located on the first level of the terminal between ticketing and baggage claim, airline ticket counters, and the Airport Ambassador Desk located on the second level of the terminal. Those with disabilities can also fill out a card that attaches to the lanyard to identify their particular disability.