Adelaide, South Australia – Keolis Downer Adelaide’s (KDA) Customer Experience team will deliver added benefit to train travellers through the launch of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Initiative. The operator of Adelaide Metro Train Services, KDA, has further solidified its commitment to delivering more inclusive train travel for passengers by training close to 70 customer experience frontline staff in how to support travellers with Hidden Disabilities.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that close to 1 in 5 people in South Australia live with a disability, and while some of those cases involve visible disabilities, many people may live with a hidden condition, or experience both, whether they be neurological, cognitive, auditory or include sensory and processing difficulties. They can also be respiratory or chronic health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain and sleep disorders.
“As diverse as these conditions are, we recognise that each customer is unique, and our aim is to break down barriers to ensure that we provide an exemplary service tailored to each individual’s needs” says Candice Quigley, Head of Customer Experience at KDA.
“Customers can opt to wear the Sunflower to discreetly signify their need for some additional support and understanding on transport, or in other public spaces.
“The KDA Customer Experience Team are proud to engage in the globally recognised Hidden Disability Sunflower Initiative to provide a helping hand for our customers living with non-visible disabilities to more confidently and comfortably navigate our local network.”
KDA customer experience staff have undertaken three online training modules aimed at providing a better understanding of what a hidden disability is, how to identify this and provide them with tools and strategies to effectively assist a person needing help.
“The Sunflower is a subtle but powerful communication tool to support staff and passenger engagement. Increasing community awareness is vital, as we understand that a substantial number of disabilities may not be immediately apparent” says Sandee Facy from Hidden Disabilities Sunflower ANZ.
“People who choose to wear a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower might want support with reading or assistance to plan a journey for example.”
Robert Tatton-Jones, Managing Director of Keolis Downer Adelaide says “Our operational values of Zero Harm and Think Like a Passenger continue to form the focus of all we undertake in our daily operations, particularly in areas of frontline employee training, accessibility, and communication, for the benefit of our customers.”
“The Hidden Disability Sunflower Initiative is one of a few we have undertaken as part of our commitment to providing a more inclusive network. Others include Human Guide Training, Auslan training, Communication Access Symbol accreditation and ‘Speak My Language’ programs, all essential for our team to be engaged in to improve the train passenger experience here in Adelaide.”
KDA staff who can assist will wear a hidden disabilities ‘I Support’ sunflower lapel pin (white with a Sunflower) to identify themselves. Passengers are also able to identify that they may need extra support in a number of ways, such as wearing a hidden disabilities lanyard, pin or wristband. KDA PSA’s have been trained to identify these and will offer support to anyone wearing these that may need it.
Lanyards and wristbands will be available to pick up from Adelaide Railway Station during KDA’s Sunflower initiative launch, taking place at Adelaide Railway Station from 15-17th May, 8:30am-10am.
About Keolis Downer:
Keolis Downer is the proud operator of the Adelaide Metro Passenger Rail Network in Adelaide. Our vision is to be the partner of choice for public transport authorities to support the development of more liveable cities and regions. For more information, visit www.keolisdowner.com.au
About the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a simple tool for you to voluntarily share that you have a disability or condition that may not be immediately apparent – and that you may need a helping hand, understanding, or more time in shops, at work, on transport, or in public spaces. For more information visit: https://hiddendisabilitiesshop.com.au/ If you are a business and would like to join the initiative please contact Sandee Facy email@example.com
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Emmet Fay, Director Stakeholder Relations, KDA, 0438 607 886 or firstname.lastname@example.org