Danish airports stand together to ensure security and equal accessibility for people with invisible disabilities
From 1 October 2020, passengers with invisible disabilities and hidden diagnoses will meet extra understanding and patience at all major Danish airports.
The employees at Aarhus, Aalborg, Billund, Bornholm, Esbjerg and Central Jutland Airport have in recent months all been through a training course that has also previously been completed at Copenhagen Airport. The course makes employees better able to meet customers who live with different types of invisible disabilities and hidden diagnoses. During the training course, the internationally recognized sunflower cord has been introduced to the staff.
The sunflower cord is launched collectively across the industry
Thus, the employees in all the major Danish airports from 1 October are ready to welcome the sunflower cord and its carriers - and thus create the framework for a safe travel experience. In the teaching material, which consists of six films, the airport staff hear about experiences, dilemmas and needs on the trip through the airport from people who live with resp. autism, adhd, anxiety, dyslexia, brain damage, speech impairment, visual impairment, hearing impairment, depression, dementia, etc.
The sunflower cord is worn by those who want to send a clear signal to the employees they meet in the airport environment: "I have an invisible disability or a hidden diagnosis and therefore I may need more help, extra time or patience."
International symbol that spreads across industries
The sunflower cord is an international symbol and ensures, among other things, that travelers do not feel they have to explain themselves or need to express themselves if a special need for understanding, time or patience arises. For employees, the leash is a tool that ensures that the necessary time is set aside to provide the right help to those who do not necessarily seem to have a need. In the UK, the line was first launched at London's Gatwick Airport in 2016. Since then, it has spread to other UK airports and is now also widespread in many other industries.
Overwhelming positive response from the users of the cord
Copenhagen Airport launched the sunflower cord on 1 January 2020. Both users and employees received it very positively.
"The cord has had enormous success in the UK across many different industries, but we did not know if it would be as well received by users here in Denmark. Therefore, we waited to see the response here with us before we launched it as Despite the current situation with the corona pandemic, which continues to result in low passenger numbers, we as airports have a constant focus on creating a safe and good travel experience for everyone. responsibility for ensuring equal accessibility and inclusion, for example through training and education, so that employees have the tools they need to be able to deliver good customer experiences - also for those customers who have the most difficulty in experiencing airports as a safe and accessible place, "says Stine Ringvig Marsal,Service Excellence Director at Copenhagen Airport.
And it is not only in airports that you will encounter the sunflower string in the future. The Knowledge Center on Disability is currently searching for possible partners who will help to spread and develop the sunflower cord and associated training material. The goal is that the sunflower cord can easily be launched by all companies that may have an interest in creating equal accessibility and good customer experiences for people with invisible disabilities.