Disabled travellers can face challenges when travelling by air, particularly when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of their mobility equipment. Improper handling by airport ground staff can result in damage, loss, or delays, which can impede travel plans and have physical, emotional and financial consequences. Increasing awareness among airport ground crews has therefore been deemed vitally important, and eFOLDi was delighted to participate in the launch of a new training initiative from the Department for Transport, aimed at promoting best practice within airline ground handling operations.
The training initiative focuses on ensuring the proper handling of mobility equipment and minimising any potential damage to mobility aids, like scooters and powered wheelchairs. By sharing the real-life experiences of disabled travellers, it also hopes to emphasise the huge knock-on effect should mobility equipment get damaged in transit.
With the support of the BHTA (British Healthcare Trades Association), a new training video entitled "It's my legs – why handling wheelchairs with care matters" was developed to highlight best practice when handling and transporting wheelchairs, powerchairs, and other types of mobility equipment. The training video has been published as part of the Department for Transport’s “Real person, Real passenger” disability awareness training package, along with a host of other related guidance.
In recognition of their specialist expertise in respect to the design of ultra-lightweight, portable mobility solutions, eFOLDi was invited to participate in the training initiative and provide hands-on support during the filming of the video at Gatwick airport. Its compact, folding Power Chair model was also one of the mobility devices selected to feature within the new instructional video.
Sumi Wang, CEO at eFOLDi, commented, “We fully support this new initiative from the Department of Transport because it will protect the safety and dignity of disabled travellers. We know how important it is for mobility equipment users to have the necessary confidence to travel, so they can remain independent and have the full freedom to explore – without any fear of damage to their equipment.”
The Department of Transport’s guidance and video can be accessed for free, here