ASB becomes first NZ bank to partner with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to help all customers feel seen

16 May 2024

ASB is the first bank in New Zealand to join the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower programme, a not-for-profit initiative that enables customers with a non-visible disability to use a Sunflower Lanyard or pin as a discreet cue, to signal they might need extra support. Almost a quarter of New Zealanders live with some kind of disability and one in 10 are carers.

There are currently more than 900 listed hidden disabilities which can include long-lasting effects of an injury, neurodiversity such as ADHD or autism, and chronic health conditions such as arthritis or diabetes. With these conditions being hidden, it’s not immediately obvious to others that these people might need extra care and support.

Rosalyn Clarke, ASB General Manager Business Transformation and Customer Outcomes, says, “We’re so excited to begin this journey with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. It’s a really important conversation that we’re proud to support, to help make ASB an inclusive space for all of our customers.

“Led by our own Neurodiversity Network Group, this initiative is another way we are building on the extra care and support options we have available for our customers, and showing up in a way that responds to specific needs.”

Sandee Facy, Head of Business Development for Australia and New Zealand for the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower initiative says “We are thrilled to welcome ASB to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower initiative. Utilising the Sunflower as a subtle yet powerful communication tool to create a safe and inclusive place to work both internally and externally. We thank ASB for their commitment and we look forward to supporting the journey as the Sunflower complements the other great work being done across the bank.”

ASB will begin training its people in the coming months, focusing on understanding hidden disabilities, how to recognise the Sunflower, and how to offer extra support to customers or colleagues who choose to wear one.

Alongside this initiative, ASB has many other initiatives to help make banking accessible for all our customers, including interpretation services for deaf or hard of hearing individuals through accessibility partners, wheelchair accessible branches and ATMs, debit and credit cards with braille to easily identify for those with impaired sight.

To learn more about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, to purchase a lanyard, or get involved, click here.

To learn more about ASB accessibility initiatives, click here.

Media Centre Media Releases ASB becomes first NZ bank to partner with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to help all customers feel seen