BTA Promotes Accessibility With All Access Pass

March 18, 2021

A series of Bermuda Tourism Authority-led Accessibility Awareness Training Workshops will be held with an aim “to make Bermuda more aware, more accessible, and more inclusive.”

A spokesperson said, “A series of Bermuda Tourism Authority-led Accessibility Awareness Training Workshops developed by the BTA will roll out for companies and individuals on the tourism frontline beginning March 23, 2021.

“The programme will deliver virtual sensitivity training that aims to make Bermuda more aware, more accessible, and more inclusive, and was borne out of the National Tourism Plan Accessibility Working Group [AWG] formed in 2019.

In November 2020, the BTA led Accessibility Working Group supported the initiative to enable access for the Jemmy Darrel path to the Black Graveyard at St Peter’s Church. Glenn Jones, BTA Interim CEO and Chief Experience Officer joined Keith Simmons, Deputy Chairman of the BTA Accessibility Working Group.

Glenn Jones and Keith Simmons Bermuda March 2021

“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 initiative aligns with the National Tourism Plan mission to offer frictionless experiences from arrival through departure in a way that not only satisfies visitors but adds to their positive experience of the country. Accessibility for all is a key pillar of that mission.

“In 2019, a working group was convened to deliver on frictionless experiences for travellers with disabilities. The group, led by Minister Tinee Furbert and accessibility advocate Keith Simmons, is focused on outcomes that afford a barrier-free and enjoyable experience that is accessible to all.

“Accessibility considerations include those with a guide dog, wheelchair or other remedial appliances or devices; as well as those with visual or hearing impediments; intellectual disabilities are also considered. The Accessibility Awareness Workshops emerged in the first phase of actionable outcomes from the AWG.

Interim CEO Glenn Jones formed the working group in his role as chief experience development officer.

He 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, Tourism Standards & Training Specialist added, “We urge everyone to register for our awareness training course as a crucial step forward in making Bermuda accessible. 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.”

“Interested parties are invited to register online for one of four training sessions. Workshops will take place on March 23, March 31, April 13, and April 21. Participant fees are $65 and payments are accepted online.”

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