New disability rights champion for air transport sector

UK Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, has named OCS Group’s Michael Connolly as the sector champion for disabled issues in air transport.

Connolly will work alongside the Department of Work and Pensions and the Office of Disability Issues to address the issues facing disabled people and to promote the business benefits of designing services that meet their needs.

One of eleven sector champions appointed by the DWP, Connolly is regional training and standards manager for OCS Group. He has worked on various projects to improve services for persons with reduced mobility at UK airports, including initiatives at Birmingham airport to enhance the experience for passengers with hidden disabilities, such as autism and dementia.

Conveying his objectives in improving the sector for PRMs, Connolly said: “My priority is to ensure each one of those passengers gets an efficient and sensitive service that responds to their individual needs.
“As sector champion, I will share that experience with colleagues in the airline industry, airports and facilities providers and encourage dialogue and co-operation in order to improve the service we offer collectively to disabled travellers.”

The initiative’s immediate priorities include increasing the number of accessible toilets, improving access for disabled people, improving the visibility of billboards and magazines for disabled people and making accessibility a mainstream issue.

DWP Minister, Mordaunt, commented on the appointments. “As a public advocate for accessibility, these champions will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer’s needs.
“These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change.”

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