Airline Employees Now Have Training Program on Wheelchair Service

Have you been less than pleased with your airline wheelchair service? A Chicago-based nonprofit is determined to do something about it.

Open Doors Organization (ODO) introduced the Aviation Access Certification Program in October to improve the quality of services of airline wheelchair service employees nationwide.

"Our aim in creating this new training and certification program is to help these employees do a better, safer job and to realize how valuable their services are, thereby enhancing the quality and experience for both customers and employees,” said Eric Lipp, executive director of ODO.

The overall objectives of the Aviation Access Certification Program are to teach airline employees how to provide high-quality customer service and emphasize safety. The program will also provide tips on working with elderly customers and those with sensory and cognitive disabilities. ODO awards certification and a special patch for airport wheelchair service employees who complete the program.

An Initial Certification program will be ready in January 2013. A Recurrent Certification Program starts in 2014. Each program has two versions: Certified Access Provider and Certified Access Trainer. In addition, a Certified Transfer Specialist Program will start in mid-2013 to teach employees about the safe assistance and lifting of customers between wheelchairs, boarding chairs and airplane seats.

Find out more here.