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Ferry staff get training designed to help disabled passengers

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From left, Department of Marine and Ports Services personnel Maquel Bailey, Ferry Services Coordinator, Warren Foggo, Leading Seaman and Torian Morrissey, Senior Ferry Master join Davida O’Brien, Tourism Standards and Training Manager at the Bermuda Tourism Authority, and Tinee Furbert, Minister of Social Development and Seniors, and chairwoman for the BTA’s Accessibility Working Group (Photograph supplied)

Ferry crew members have undergone special training to help make travel on the service a better experience for the disabled.

A total of 22 frontline ferry staff took part in the training, organised by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and designed to help personnel make the island more accessible for tourists and residents with mobility problems.

Tracey Berkeley, the BTA’s chief administration officer, said: "Elevating customer service standards in Bermuda is a priority for our team at the BTA and broadening accessibility awareness to all those on the front line of tourism is the key element of that goal."

The three-hour training session was developed by the tourism standards and training division of the BTA, which teamed up with Jodi Virgil, of training and development firm Organised Solutions Bermuda.

The sessions were born out of work carried out by the National Tourism Plan’s accessibility working group, which was led by Tinee Furbert, the social development and seniors minister, Keith Simmons, an accessibility campaigner.

The three-hour sessions tackled stereotypes of disabled people and words and phrases that reinforce stereotypes about disabled people.

Participants were taught how to identify barriers faced by disabled people, understand how accessibility affected those with physical or intellectual problems and outlined a range of disabilities.

Ms Virgil said: "Through experiential activities, sharing real-life experiences and critical thinking discussions, we empower participants to self-reflect and raise their awareness of the experiences of those with disabilities.

She added the courses prepared participants to “deliver elevated customer service for all of our visitors and residents”.

Davida O'Brien, the BTA’s tourism standards and training manager, added that the courses were open to other businesses.

She said: “The team at Marine & Ports were very receptive to the training and saw the importance of enhancing the experience for everyone as they travel on their vessels.

“While Bermuda does have accessibility gaps, our customer service training and accessibility awareness will help to close many of them."

The cost of the training is $65 per person. For more information and to sign up, e-mail training@bermudatourism.com.

Department of Marine and Ports Services personnel mark the successful completion of the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s Accessibility Awareness Training alongside Davida O'Brien, BTA Tourism Standards and Training Manager and Tinee Furbert, Minister of Social Development and Seniors and chairwoman of the BTA Accessibility Working Group (Photograph supplied)

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Published February 14, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated February 14, 2022 at 7:55 am)

Ferry staff get training designed to help disabled passengers

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