What we are doing to help our passengers with additional needs
|Attended Cantraybridge College Open Day (a local college helping students with Additional Support Needs into the workplace)||May 2019|
|Presented at the Scottish Government Autism Strategy Review Group Meeting||May 2019|
|Visit from Drummond School (school for pupils with Additional Support Needs)||February 2019|
|Autism Awareness training with Autism Initiatives||July 2017 & September 2018|
|Inverness Airport attended Nairn Access Panel||February & June 2018|
|Hidden Disability lanyards introduced||April 2018|
|Changing Places accessible changing facility opened||April 2018|
|New car park drop-off area with assistance call points opened||March 2018|
|New wheelchairs x 8 received||March 2018|
|Meeting with National Autistic Society||February 2018|
The airport and special assistance service provider attended the open day held by Cantraybridge College in May 2019. The college promotes the skills and talents of young people with disabilities and helps them into the workplace. We’re now in discussion with the college about developing a voluntary scheme which would introduce students into the working environment at the airport.
The airport was invited to attend and present at the Scottish Government’s Autism Strategy Review Group held in Inverness during May 2019. The presentation was aimed at promoting the hidden disabilities schemes and accessibility work being carried out by the airport. The review group was attended by local autism charities as well as interested individuals and healthcare professionals.
Since February 2019 the airport has hosted visits from the staff and pupils at Drummond School. The school is for pupils with additional support needs, many having severe learning difficulties and complex needs. We support the school by providing familiarisation visits to make the airport environment less overwhelming. This helps to open travel opportunities for people who would usually find the experience extremely stressful.
Approximately 40 member of the team have now attended training with the Autism Initiatives charity based in Inverness. The focus of the training is on the hidden disability aspects of autism and how staff can help make the journey through the airport far easier.
The airport and special assistance service provider attend the Nairn Access Panel regularly to brief them on the latest updates at the airport. Recent updates have included the introduction of hidden disability lanyards, new mobility equipment and the Changing Places accessible changing facility. Following discussions with the panel we introduced accessible seating outside the terminal so wheelchair users can enjoy the refreshments on offer from our restaurant and café when the weather’s good.
The airport management team have met with members of the National Autistic Society (NAS) to discuss the work we’re carrying out to ensure the airport is accessible for all. The NAS team promote the Autism Friendly Award which Inverness Airport is working towards. The introduction of hidden disability lanyards and the development of the Autism Friendly visual guide were discussed and both were well received by the NAS.
A new dedicated drop-off area has been introduced in the short-stay car park immediately in front of the terminal building. The drop-off area is adjacent to the blue-badge parking bays and has several call-points installed which can be used to summon assistance for access to the terminal.
The airport has introduced 8 lightweight aluminium transit wheelchairs to ensure ease of access throughout the airport. The new chairs also have space for cabin baggage under the seat so customers can transit through the airport in comfort.
We’ve recently opened this fantastic new changing facility which has won an award as best in Scotland at Loo of the Year 2018. It’s a really unique and quiet space that’s also ideal for those just needing some ‘time out’ from the hustle and bustle of an airport environment. The room includes a hoist and variable height sink as well as variable lighting and Bluetooth connectivity. The requirement for this room was highlighted by customers travelling through the airport who found the existing facilities difficult to use.
A spokesperson for Changing Places in Scotland said “It is excellent that Inverness Airport has installed a Changing Places and is making a point that it can be used not just by air travellers but anyone who needs it who is in the vicinity.”