Changi Airport launches new initiatives to better support passengers with invisible disabilities
SINGAPORE: Changi Airport has announced three new initiatives to make the travel experience easier, more stress-free and inclusive for passengers with invisible disabilities.
This was announced on Wednesday (Feb 2) by the Changi Airport Group (CAG), which developed the initiatives in consultation with special needs schools and organisations.
Passengers with invisible disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and dementia will now have a customisable step by step airport guide as well as trained staff trained to identify them, so they can get help more easily and discreetly.
“The Changi Airport Social Story is an initiative jointly developed with experienced educators from Rainbow Centre Training and Consultancy to help reduce the stress of unfamiliar situations such as travelling for persons with invisible disabilities,” CAG said.
Comprising of pictures and short descriptions, the social story is a common tool used by caregivers to familiarise persons with invisible disabilities with the various processes before they reach their destination.
“The step-by-step guide outlines the entire airport journey from check-in to boarding in a way that is easy to understand. Passengers and caregivers can go through the processes using the pictures in the social story during their pre-flight preparation.
“This downloadable file allows for customisation to suit each passenger’s journey and can be easily accessed on Changi Airport’s website or be printed for physical use,” CAG said.
Known as Changi Care Ambassadors, more than 300 frontline staff have undergone training to assist passengers with special needs. More such trained employees will be added this year, said CAG.
“Navigating unfamiliar places and procedures while catching a flight can be stressful, especially for passengers whose disabilities may not be immediately apparent, said Damon Wong, vice president of Changi Airport Group’s passenger experience, ground operations and customer service.
“The initiatives aim to improve the overall travel experience for passengers with invisible disabilities and we hope it makes the airport a more comfortable and accessible place for them.”