Eric Lipp, Founder/Executive Director, Open Doors Organization
Eric Lipp, Founder/Executive Director of Open Doors Organization (ODO), founded ODO after experiencing restrictions people with disabilities face in everyday life. He works as Part 382 US Air Carrier Access Act expert around the world, representing over 50 domestic and global carriers. He has worked with over 70 airports globally and frequently speaks at travel, tourism and transportation events internationally. He also founded the Universal Access in Airports, biennial event for access in aviation. Eric initiated the groundbreaking 2002, 2005, 2015 & 2020 ODO/Harris Poll studies on travelers with disabilities and works on access across all sectors of travel, tourism and transportation.
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”.