Autism Acceptance Month: Talking to Employees about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower
As part of our commitment to creating inclusive workspaces across the globe, PRA Group regularly offers opportunities for colleagues to hear from subject matter experts as well as engage with and learn from the life experiences of their colleagues. We call these discussions “PRA Talks.”
In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month, our most recent session focused on how we can be allies to those living with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). PRA Group’s communications and engagement business partner, Hannah Hague, volunteered to deliver the talk, sharing her perspective as a mother navigating life with a child on the autism spectrum.
Among many insights, she provided her colleagues with an education on the symbolism behind the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, a welcomed follow-up to the session PRA Group hosted during its most recent Global Inclusion Week.
Wearing a sunflower emblem in the form of a lanyard, sticker or wristband is a way for those with unapparent disabilities or conditions to silently communicate their needs to others. In other words, the sunflower emblem is a way to remove the invisibility of certain disabilities.
Just because we cannot see something does not mean it isn’t there. Around the world, one in seven people live with a disability1 of some kind, and 80% of those disabilities – autism, asthma or arthritis, for instance – are invisible2. This means awareness of the sunflower emblem has the potential to impact over 1.3 billion people, and that’s not counting their loved ones and caregivers.
At some point in our lives, we all could use a helping hand. The sunflower reminds us to be understanding with others, exercise patience by allowing for more time with tasks that may be challenging for some and may assist others around us in public spaces.
We are grateful to our employees for their thoughtful participation in this conversation, and to our partners like Families of Autistic Children in Tidewater (FACT) for their work to improve the quality of life for individuals living with ASDs and their families.
About PRA Group
As a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, PRA Group, Inc. returns capital to banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers in the Americas, Europe and Australia. With thousands of employees worldwide, PRA Group companies collaborate with customers to help them resolve their debt. For more information, please visit www.pragroup.com.
Najim Mostamand, CFA
Vice President, Investor Relations
Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Policy