VisitEngland, the national tourist board, today launched a new online training course to help tourism businesses deliver excellent service to disabled customers. Designed in partnership with award-winning disability organisation DisabledGo, the course is specifically tailored to help those working within the tourism industry. One thousand free spaces have been made available to tourism businesses in England, and businesses can register up to 5 places each by visiting: www.disabledgo.com/tourismtraining.
The course consists of six modules, which can be completed online at the user’s convenience; the whole course takes around one to two hours to complete. The training starts with an introduction to disability, and then looks at different types of impairment, before offering practical advice on providing an accessible service and acceptable language to use when communicating with disabled customers. The final section talks through the legal obligations of tourism businesses under the Equality Act (2010). Progress can be saved throughout the course, allowing the user to log off and complete it over several hours or days, if necessary.
Following successful completion of the course a certificate is made available for download, and each user’s account remains active, allowing them to log in at a later date to refer to the course material; sections can also be printed out for every-day reference. This value-for-money course costs a maximum of £15 per person, with the cost decreasing the more people a business would like trained.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, commented:
“It is vital that those working within the tourism industry have the knowledge and confidence to offer excellent customer service to disabled visitors, particularly as we prepare for the many exciting events taking place across England in 2012. Over £2 billion is spent in England by disabled visitors and their companions each year, and this new online Disability Awareness Course will enable staff to be more aware of their specific needs, providing a high quality and memorable visitor experience.”
Dr Gregory Burke, Founder and Chief Executive of DisabledGo, commented:
“At DisabledGo, we provide access information, access audits, equality and disability awareness training programmes for a wide range of business sectors. As the national tourist board, VisitEngland was a natural partner for us in developing a cost-effective, high-quality online course for the tourism industry and we are delighted to be working with them to launch this programme.”
Visit www.disabledgo.com/tourismtraining to register for free places on the online Disability Awareness course (only 1,000 free places available, limited to five per business).