Published on : Friday, March 17, 2017
The card can be handed discreetly to airport staff along with the passenger’s boarding pass or passport.
The special assistance card advises staff that a passenger may need more time to process information, help in avoiding crowded places or extra assistance in reading departure boards or flight information, for example. The card also encourages airport staff to use clear language when giving instructions. Airport staff will also be aware that passengers carrying a card may need to remain with a family member or companion at all times.
Not all passengers with hidden disabilities require assistance through the airport, but for some passengers, experiencing challenges with Dementia or Autism, airports and other public locations can be very stressful places. After feedback from various local charities Bristol Airport has extended the support available for passengers with hidden disabilities in addition to the lanyard initiative, introduced by OCS Group at Bristol and other UK airports, the team at Bristol developed the assistance card along with an information booklet to help passengers prepare for a journey and give additional guidance on their journey through the airport.
A full training and awareness programme has been delivered to all airport colleagues in customer facing roles in preparation for the introduction of these new initiatives on 31 March 2017.
In conjunction with the launch of the hidden disabilities special assistance card OCS Group has worked with Thumbs Up World Ltd to produce a small colour booklet containing useful information for passengers with hidden disabilities using Bristol Airport.
The booklet is designed for passengers and their families and carers to use before and during a journey from the airport. It provides a clear guide on what to expect at the airport with photographs of each area including check-in, security, retail and catering outlets, boarding, arrivals and baggage reclaim. The booklet also contains space for passengers to record their own specific needs or any questions they may have along with emergency medical and contact information.
A video of the guide has been developed by Thumbs Up World UK and will be available on the Bristol Airport website as an additional resource for passengers.
Phil Holder, Bristol Airport, said:
“We are delighted to work with OCS and listen to feedback from families and various charities in the development of the hidden disabilities special assistance card. For families it will remove and reduce some of the stress knowing that staff are aware and understand the challenges they may face.
“The booklet will also be a great help to families and provides information in advance of their visit and allows the family to complete the booklet together not only before they visit, but during their time at the Airport also.”
Duncan Lowe of OCS Group said:
“OCS Group is committed to working with disability groups to improve the travelling experience for disabled passengers and these new initiatives are designed specifically to help passengers with hidden disabilities travelling through Bristol Airport. The hidden disability cards and lanyards offer passengers options on how they wish to be assisted through the airport and allow a discreet visual reference to airport staff that this passenger may require a little help or extra time.”
“The introduction of our hidden disability booklets, in association with Thumbs Up World, offers a fun interactive distraction from some of the stresses of the journey and will allow parents, partners and carers prepare for their journey. It also allows the passenger to express their concerns in advance, which in turn can help our staff to assist in the most appropriate manner on the day. We hope that the introduction of these new initiatives will give confidence to passengers with hidden disabilities that they can travel through Bristol Airport with the support they need and shows OCS Group’s ongoing commitment to making Bristol Airport accessible for all.”
Source:- Bristol Airport