VisitEngland and DisabledGo Launch Online Disability Awareness Course

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: http://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).

DisabledGo, helping councils’ deliver on the Equality Act 2010

DisabledGo has teamed up with East Staffordshire Borough Council to produce online disability equality training specifically designed to assist councils meet their legal obligations and improve customer service. 

The online training has been designed to answer the needs of public sector organisations facing tough economic times.

Chief Executive of East Staffordshire Borough Council, Andy O’Brien, welcomed the collaboration, recognising the problems local authorities face,

‘Every council recognises the importance of considering all their residents when planning and delivering services but they sometimes find it difficult to understand the diverse needs of disabled people. Finding quality trainers, at an affordable price, who understand not only their subject but also the specific needs of public services is a great challenge.’ 

DisabledGo and East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Building Control Team have worked together over the past six months to develop training that is both engaging and comprehensive.

Anna Borthwick, Head of Business Development and Marketing at DisabledGo said, ‘We are thrilled to be working in partnership with East Staffordshire Borough Council Building Control Team. DisabledGo has been serving the public sector for a decade, combining our experience and expertise with the wealth of knowledge at East Staffordshire Borough Council has enabled us to develop training that provides low cost solutions to the problems public sector clients have highlighted.’

The Council’s Building Control Team has well over 20 years experience in the access field including that of Access Officer, Barbara Harrison who has a background in Occupational Therapy, has previously worked with the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind people) and serves as both a councillor and council officer. 

East Staffordshire Borough Council has successfully trialled the training amongst their staff with fantastic results.

Andy O’Brien said, ‘the most frequent reaction seems to have been ‘well!  I never knew that!’ which proves staff are learning something new.’  He commented ‘East Staffordshire Borough Council has worked with DisabledGo for several years to provide online access information for disabled residents and visitors.  We are happy to join with them in this new venture and hope many more local authorities will enjoy the benefits of well trained staff throughout their organisation. I am pleased we will now be able to provide cost effective, general and specialist training to a wide range of staff ’.

As Councillor Richard Grosvenor, Leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, highlighted   ‘In order to fulfil the duties placed on public bodies by the Equality Act 2010 a clear understanding of the nature of the protected characteristics will be required, at all levels of the organisation.  Disability is the most complex of the characteristics and this specialist, easily accessible, affordable training, delivered direct to the workforce without business disruption, is a key tool in improving services and meeting legal duties.’

If you are looking for a cost effective way of developing your staff while meeting legal duties contact Tim Nelson, Training Development Manager (E: tim.nelson@disabledgo.com T: 01438 842710) to discuss our training and Early Adopter Rate.