Updated: February 10, 2022 1:22 PM
Joining Davida O’Brien, Standards and Tourism Training at the Bermuda Tourism Authority, and Tinee Furbert, Minister of Social Development and Seniors and Chair of the BTA’s Accessibility Task Force (Photograph provided)
Ferry crew members have undergone special training to help make traveling on the service a better experience for people with disabilities.
A total of 22 frontline staff from the ferry took part in the training, organized by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and designed to help staff make the island more accessible to tourists and residents with reduced mobility.
Tracey Berkeley, BTA’s Director of Administration, said: “Improving customer service standards in Bermuda is a priority for our BTA team and expanding awareness of accessibility for all those on the front lines of tourism is key to this goal.”
The three-hour training session was developed by BTA’s Tourism Standards and Training Division, which partnered with Jodi Virgil of training and development company Organized Solutions Bermuda.
The sessions grew out of the work of the National Tourism Plan’s Accessibility Task Force, which was led by Tinee Furbert, Minister of Social Development and Seniors, Keith Simmons, an accessibility campaigner.
The three-hour sessions addressed stereotypes about people with disabilities and words and phrases that reinforce stereotypes about people with disabilities.
Participants learned to identify barriers faced by people with disabilities, understand how accessibility affects people with physical or intellectual challenges, and describe a range of disabilities.
Ms Virgil said: “Through experiential activities, sharing real experiences and critical thinking discussions, we empower participants to think for themselves and raise awareness about the experiences of people with disabilities.
She added that the courses prepare participants to “provide quality customer service to all of our visitors and residents.”
Davida O’Brien, BTA’s tourism standards and training manager, added that the courses were open to other businesses.
She said: “The Marine & Ports team were very receptive to the training and understood the importance of enhancing everyone’s experience when traveling on their vessels.
“While Bermuda has accessibility gaps, our customer service training and accessibility awareness will help fill many of them.”
The cost of the training is $65 per person. For more information and to register, email [email protected]
Staff from the Department of Marine and Port Services mark the successful completion of the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s Accessibility Awareness Training alongside Davida O’Brien, BTA’s Tourism Standards and Training Manager and Tinee Furbert, Minister of Social Development and Seniors and Chair of the BTA Accessibility Task Force (Photo provided)