KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced today that all KLM aircraft will carry special flight safety instruction booklets for visually handicapped passengers. The booklets, giving instructions in Braille as well as large print, were developed in consultation with various national associations and institutes for visually handicapped persons in the Netherlands. The instruction booklets, supplementing the regular onboard flight safety demonstrations, are available in Dutch and English. They were compiled and manufactured by visually handicapped employees at Proson Braille Printers in Ermelo, the Netherlands.
Cabin attendants will hand the booklets to visually handicapped passengers as soon as they have taken their seats. The attendant will point out the seat’s location in the aircraft to the passenger on an embossed floor plan, along with the emergency exits, aisles, galleys and toilets. The floor plans are produced by a special machine which copies ordinary images and prints them as embossed line images. The attendant’s instructions are detailed in the booklet which passengers can then read at their leisure.
The toilets on board are equipped with a service bell button to call an attendant when assistance is required. These have also been provided with a label in Braille. KLM’s brochure for physically challenged passengers is available on audio cassette and in a print version in large print and Braille to assist visually handicapped passengers in preparing for their trip. Visually handicapped passengers are assisted and escorted free of charge at their airports of departure and arrival. However, they should request this assistance two days in advance via their travel agent or KLM’s worldwide service number: 0800-KLM CARES. These new services reflect KLM’s policy of making air travel more accessible for its physically challenged customers. The policy was written into a covenant drafted by KLM and the Dutch Council for Chronically Ill and Handicapped Persons.