Craig Kennedy, Program Coordinator & Trainer, Open Doors Organization
Craig is a Program Coordinator and trainer with the Open Doors Organization with more than 20 years of experience working with people with disabilities, disability travel and tourism and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Craig moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado from the Adirondacks in upstate NY in 1994 where a skiing accident left him paralyzed from the waist down just two years later. A published author and Co-Founder of an Adaptive Travel Resource Company called Access Anything with his wife Andy, and founder of CK Consulting, he has spent the last 20 years motivating people with disabilities to look beyond their perceived abilities and advocating for their rights as both people and travelers. He spent the last 10 years as a founding Board Member and Program Director for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS) helping to grow that Adaptive Sports Program from the ground up while teaching others with disabilities how to ski and recreate in the outdoors. Craig is also a Whole Food Nutrition and Business Coach with the Juice Plus Company and brings an infectious positive attitude with him wherever he goes and hopes to affect positive change, better health, and improved access to the world of disabilities.
His latest projects have been to introduce VR Technology at Lufthansa Aviation Training for cabin crew and explore means of re-shaping future training. Vital ongoing projects to deal with the ever-changing nature of the operational field of the airline industry.
Airline Disability Training & the Importance of the Post-Covid Disability Market
In 2017, British Airways introduced their ‘Beyond Accessibility’ program to improve the service offered to customers with disabilities. A key part of this project was to have a specialized team of accessibility experts at a dedicated call center to provide a more personalised service. The key to the success of this team is to unlock their emotional engagement and break down barriers in dealing with customers with disabilities.
In July of 2019, Open Doors Organization flew to Newcastle, England to train this Accessibility Team. This workshop will take a look at the training that we provided & look at some results, talk about how disability training helps people to see the customer instead of the disability, and shed some light on the role that people with disabilities will play in the return of the travel market. Eric Lipp & Craig Kennedy from Open Doors will present this workshop in partnership with Alison Dalton, former Head of Customer Accessibility for British Airways.
Let us decide what, when and how change will look like for the future. Let us get ready and resilient for future challenges. We might not change everything immediately, but as Mahatma Gandhi once said: “If you want to change the world, you have to start with yourself”.