Photos: Changi Airport Group
We are delighted that Changi Airport Group (CAG) has launched the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower alongside two other initiatives to better support travelers with invisible disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome and dementia.
Passengers can choose to wear the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard or the Land Transport Authority’s “May I Have a Seat Please” lanyard. Airport staff have been trained to identify these lanyards and to come forward to offer additional support, such as giving more time for these passengers to complete a particular procedure or guiding them through airport processes. Throughout their airport journey, passengers with invisible disabilities are also supported by Changi Airport staff with the gold Care Ambassador pin. Known as Changi Care Ambassadors, these frontline staff have undergone training with Rainbow Centre Training and Consultancy (RCTC) and are equipped with the skillset to assist passengers with special needs effectively. Approximately 300 frontline staff from various passenger touchpoints have been trained.
To create a more stress-free and inclusive travel experience for passengers with invisible disabilities, CAG has also collaborated with educators from RCTC to develop the Changi Airport Social Story. This is a customizable step-by-step airport guide that enables passengers to familiarize themselves with airport processes. Comprising pictures and short descriptions, a social story is a common tool used by caregivers to acquaint persons with invisible disabilities with the various processes before they reach their destination. The step-by-step guide outlines the entire airport journey from check-in to boarding in a way that is easy to understand. Passengers and caregivers can go through the processes using the pictures in the social story during their pre-flight preparation. This downloadable file can be customized to suit each passenger’s journey and can be accessed on Changi Airport’s website or be printed for physical use.
Damon Wong, vice president of Changi Airport Group’s passenger experience, ground operations and customer service, said, “Changi Airport strives to deliver an inclusive travel experience for all. We found the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme meaningful in serving the needs of travellers with invisible disabilities, and has fast growing outreach to many international airports. With more staff trained to recognize the Sunflower lanyard, we are able to provide better assistance and support to passengers with hidden disabilities, ensuring that their travel journey at Changi Airport is more seamless and stress-free.”
To find out more about the Sunflower at Changi Airport Group, please click here.