Changi Airport Group (CAG) has launched three new initiatives to better support persons with invisible disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and dementia. Aimed at creating a more stress-free and inclusive travel experience for these passengers, the initiatives include a customisable step-by-step airport guide, being alert to special identifying lanyards, as well as having a pool of staff trained in identifying them, so passengers can get help more easily and discreetly. The initiatives were developed by CAG in consultation with special needs schools and organisations.
Get familiar with Changi Airport with the Changi Airport Social Story
Passengers with invisible disabilities can familiarise themselves with airport processes using the Changi Airport Social Story to reduce anxiety when travelling.
The Changi Airport Social Story is an initiative jointly developed with experienced educators from Rainbow Centre Training and Consultancy (RCTC) to help reduce the stress of unfamiliar situations such as travelling for persons with invisible disabilities.
Comprising pictures and short descriptions, a 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.
Wear these lanyards to tell us you may need more support
Passengers may choose to wear invisible disabilities lanyards at the airport as a discreet way of telling others that they may need more support or time.
Photo credit: Land Transport Authority (Left), The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower (Right)
Passengers who prefer a more discreet way of indicating their invisible disabilities may choose to carry the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard or the Land Transport Authority’s “May I Have a Seat Please” lanyard. Airport staff have been trained to identify these lanyards and to come forward to offer additional support, such as allowing more time for these passengers to complete a particular procedure or guiding them through airport processes.
Equipping staff with specialised skills to provide effective support
Frontline staff, identified by their gold Care Ambassador pin, are trained to effectively support passengers with invisible disabilities on their airport journey.
Throughout their airport journey, passengers with invisible disabilities are also supported by Changi Airport staff with the gold Care Ambassador pin. Known as Changi Care Ambassadors, these frontline staff have undergone training with RCTC and are equipped with the skillsets to assist passengers with special needs effectively. Over 300 frontline staff from various passenger touch points have benefitted from the training and it will be expanded to more staff this year.
“Navigating unfamiliar places and procedures while catching a flight can be stressful, especially for passengers whose disabilities may not be immediately apparent. We worked closely with experts and sought feedback from the community on how we could better support their needs at the airport. 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,” said Damon Wong, Vice President of Changi Airport Group’s Passenger Experience, Ground Operations and Customer Service.
“Rainbow Centre is heartened to know that CAG is taking steps towards being an inclusive airport so passengers of disabilities can be better served and included. This aligns extremely well with Rainbow Centre’s vision of empowering persons with disabilities so they can thrive in inclusive communities. Through capability building of CAG staff and airport partners, we hope to bring about a mindset shift towards inclusion and disability. With the adoption of inclusive practices by CAG to interact with and support persons with disabilities at the various airport touchpoints, we are confident that their user experience at the airport will be uplifted,” said Arthur Elfin Chiang, Assistant Director of Rainbow Centre Training & Consultancy.
For more information on the initiatives to support passengers with disabilities, please refer to https://bit.ly/CareAtChangi.
For high-res photos and footage, please download from here.
About Changi Airport Group
Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport (IATA: SIN, ICAO: WSSS) followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. CAG also manages Seletar Airport (IATA: XSP, ICAO: WSSL) and through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, invests in and manages foreign airports.