Based in the United Kingdom as a charity for the disabled, the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) has partnered with their expertise with Ethos Farm to develop ASK FIRST, a deck of disability awareness online training courses designed to help all staff feel more confident in providing the best possible customer service and become disability allies.
Ethos Farm is also based in the UK and is an award-winning customer and employee experience provider. They have been well-accorded in customer experience consultancy to help companies better retain customer loyalty, as well as learning and development with well-developed training content and programs for employee betterment.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 15% of the world’s population, over a billion people, have some form of disability, and passengers requiring assistance have more than doubled since 2014, according to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority. With the number of passengers with disabilities foreseen as increasing significantly with consistent expanding and ageing populations globally, according to IATA The Word Bank believes the post Covid-19 world now provides the opportunity to reimagine disability inclusion.
Leo Visconti, Director at QEF says, “QEF has represented the needs of disabled passengers to the airline industry for over 5 years and we have proactively provided Tryb4uFly assessments to give disabled people confidence to travel by air.”
The two partners believe that tailored disability confidence and equality training programs are key tools to better support the aviation industry in creating better and more inclusive customer experiences, and also to meet the regulatory health requirements as the gradual restart of international travel commences.
Written and delivered by disabled people themselves, the ASK FIRST training courses are able to track the entire passenger journey in detail, focusing on the needs of passengers with cognitive, mental, physical and sensory health conditions that are both visible and invisible.
Specially developed for the aviation industry, the training courses also include an interactive animated e-learning module, providing disability awareness information to further boost disability confidence in all staff.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, digital and virtual classrooms will be conducted to equip frontline aviation staff and managers the skills needed to identify passengers whom may require additional support, helping them to feel more confident in engaging and assisting such passengers.
“Working with Ethos Farm we have been able to develop e-learning and virtual classroom products that ensure the principles and spirit of inclusion are consistently applied across all levels, and our joint aim is to make disability allies of all staff,” Visconti also said.
A one-day CPD accredited, Disability Equality Training course will be offered to ensure all aviation organizations will eventually be disability inclusive at all levels. The training courses can either be bought “off the shelf” or customized to meet the specific requirements of an organization.
Ensuring the needs of disabled passengers are met is not only significant on a human level, but on a commercial level as well. Co-Founder of Ethos Farm Met Garner says, “Providing a great service for customers shouldn’t be down to any one department, it is everyone’s responsibility to get the customer experience right.”