The UK’s Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, has named OCS Group’s Michael Connolly as the sector champion for disabled issues in air transport. He will work alongside the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), and the Office of Disability Issues, to help tackle the issues that disabled people face and promote the business benefits of taking an inclusive approach to disabled consumers and designing services that meet their needs.
Michael Connolly is regional training and standards manager for OCS Group’s Aviation and Gateways business and was one of eleven sector champions appointed by the DWP. He has worked on a range of initiatives to improve the service to disabled people at UK airports, including projects at Birmingham Airport to improve the experience for passengers with hidden disabilities, such as autism and dementia.
“OCS Group is the largest provider of assistance to persons with reduced mobility (PRM) in the UK and Ireland, and helps over one million passengers at nine airports each year,” said Michael Connolly of OCS Group. “My priority is to ensure each one of those passengers gets an efficient and sensitive service that responds to their individual needs.”
“As sector champion, I will share that experience with colleagues in the airline industry, airports and facilities providers and encourage dialogue and co-operation in order to improve the service we offer collectively to disabled travellers,” he said.
The DWP intends that the sector champions should highlight disabled issues and recommend specific changes and improvements in their industry that will make a difference to millions of disabled people. The initiative’s immediate priorities include increasing the number of accessible toilets, improving access for disabled people, improving the visibility of disabled people on billboards and in magazines, and making accessibility a mainstream issue.
The Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, said:
“As a public advocate for accessibility, these champions will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer’s needs. These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change.”