A Dream of Equality - INCLAVI Builds a World Where Disability is not a Barrier to Flying

Inclusive Aviation strives to make flying accessible to everyone. While there is still room for improvement in the accessibility of airlines and airports, the creators of the new curriculum hold a strong belief in the industry's potential for positive change.

Silminnähden onnellinen henkilö rullatuolissa katsomassa auringonlaskua merenranalla. Kuvassa myös INCLAVI:n ja EU:n logot.
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The Inclusive Aviation project (INCLAVI), coordinated by Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, is progressing towards its next phase. Initiated in September 2022, the project aims to enhance aviation education by fostering awareness of accessibility and inclusivity. It brings together stakeholders from the corporate sector, academia, and disability advocacy groups.

In INCLAVI, professionals from diverse backgrounds unite their skills to craft a brand-new curriculum for aviation personnel. The goal is to bolster and uphold the equality objectives concerning the freedom of movement for individuals with disabilities within the European Union while also enhancing the competitiveness of businesses.

According to Ms Namrata Sethi, the project manager at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, the primary focus will be on enhancing competence and understanding, as well as fostering equality. She believes that every air traveler should have the right to a seamless journey, regardless of their individual needs.

The task won't be easy

Ms Sethi indicates that the initial five modules are slated for completion as early as April 2024, with the full curriculum anticipated to be finalized by the first quarter of 2025. She expresses contentment that the schedules have been adhered to, as there is keen anticipation for the forthcoming curriculum, born out of necessity.

"We aim to ensure that the needs of passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility are met at every stage of their journey, thus ensuring their customer experience is as successful as possible. It's a matter of fairness," she reflects.

Ms Sethi admits that the task ahead won't be easy. Crafting an accessible passenger experience demands countless hours of work and tight collaboration among global stakeholders, including unions, advocacy groups, the aviation industry, and universities. Nonetheless, she remains positive that changes are forthcoming.

A dream of equality

INCLAVI is dedicated to delivering top-notch quality and aspires to establish a benchmark that sets an example for other industry stakeholders. According to Ms Sethi, individuals with disabilities form a closely-knit community where information spreads rapidly. Providing an accessible experience can serve as a competitive edge for both airlines and destinations.

"The long-standing dream of mine is to see a world where reduced mobility no longer poses a barrier to travel. I firmly believe in equality, which is why I am dedicated to promoting it through my work. Once we address the challenges within the aviation industry, it will be time to tackle those of other modes of transportation, such as buses and trains," she says.

In addition to Haaga-Helia, the international consortium includes Careeria Vocational College from Finland, Breda University of Applied Sciences from the Netherlands, Özyeğin and Yaşar Universities from Turkey, the International Air Transport Association's offices in Spain and Canada, the European Network for Accessible Tourism ASBL, and Istanbul International Airport IGA, recognized as one of the world's premier airports.

The Inclusive Aviation project, scheduled from 2022 to 2025, is funded by the Erasmus+ program and aligns with the European Commission's strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities (2021-2030). For further information about INCLAVI, please visit the project's website at: https://www.inclavi.eu/.

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