Friday, January 22, 2010

Training Airlines on Handling Wheelchairs

I spent the first three days of this week in Houston, Texas training Continental Airlines' ground crew how to handle assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and scooters, and came away with a new appreciation for what that team does.

This training was organized by Eric Lipp of the Open Doors Organization (, with the help of Michael Bliwas and The Mobility Shop (, and we all agreed that this was a successful first stop on what we hope will be a large, comprehensive tour to train airline ground crews around the globe.

The purpose of these trainings is not only to teach crews how to properly lift and stow assistive devices, but how to take care of them, disassemble them, and return them to customers in one piece. Airlines currently spend way too much of their budget replacing and repairing broken assistive equipment and with today’s economy, we hope we are teaching employees how to save their company money and avoid fines "from the ground up!"

As always we were very impressed with Continental's employees; they came with a sincere eagerness to learn, tamper with, and fully explore the subject. We look forward to working with other airlines and are excited for Continental to once again lead the way in the topic of handling customers with disabilities.

Unfortunately due to technical difficulties with our video camera we don't have an example of this training, but we hope to get some useful tools up soon!

Go Anywhere, Do Anything! -Craig

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