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BTA launches plan to improve Bermuda experience for disabled

Glenn Jones, the interim BTA CEO, with Keith Simmons, accessibility officer at the Ministry of Health’s Ageing and Disability Services (Photograph provided)

A series of workshops designed to boost accessibility for disabled tourists and residents will be launched next week by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

The Accessibility Awareness Training Workshops, to start next Tuesday, will offer virtual sensitivity training for people on the front line of the hospitality industry.

A BTA spokeswoman said: “The training workshops will equip participants with the tools to understand their individual role in making Bermuda more accessible and create positive experiences.

“The three-hour training session will provide the skills needed to identify barriers faced by individuals, help attendees understand how accessibility impacts those with physical or intellectual challenges, as well as defining types of disabilities.

“Participants will learn strategies to assist clients to access goods, services and facilities while also empowering them with the soft skills for excellent customer service, protecting the dignity of each interaction.”

The workshops were the brainchild of the National Tourism Plan Accessibility Working Group and were designed to help create a good experience for disabled people.

Glenn Jones, the interim CEO of the BTA, said: “Making Bermuda easier to experience for travellers with mobility challenges is extremely important for the destination and we’ve shown the BTA’s commitment in this area with projects like the repaving of the Jemmy Darrell Pathway to the Black graveyard at St Peter’s Church.

“However, the country’s work in this area should not be limited to physical infrastructure or mobility issues.

“It’s also about soft skills, our attitudes and awareness around a variety of disabilities. We won’t be able to fully embrace visitors with disabilities until we are sensitive to their feelings and experiences.”

Davida O’Brien, a tourism standards and training specialist, appealed to people in the hospitality sector to sign up for the online course.

She said: “The customer service experience will be enhanced, and the island’s frontline personnel will be empowered to serve with confidence while creating change that will positively impact us now, and in the future."

Next Tuesday’s session will be followed with more seminars scheduled for March 31, April 13 and April 21.

The cost is $65 and online payment options are available.

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Published March 19, 2021 at 8:44 am (Updated March 19, 2021 at 8:44 am)

BTA launches plan to improve Bermuda experience for disabled

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