Eric Lipp & Craig Kennedy

PRM’s & People with Disabilities – Customer Service Behaviors Across European Borders

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Eric Lipp, Executive Director/Founder, Open Doors Organization
Eric founded Open Doors Organization (ODO) after personally experiencing the restrictions that people with disabilities face in everyday life due to lack of awareness and knowledge by businesses. In the 15 years since, he has assisted countless companies, primarily in travel, tourism and transportation, to better serve the disability community while also encouraging individuals with disabilities to travel and participate fully in their communities. Eric has developed and conducted training for airlines, airline service companies and airports. He has traveled around the globe, working with over 30 foreign carriers. Eric also assisted in preparing Heathrow ground handlers for the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012. In 2013 he trained TSA’s Passenger Support Specialists and received their Community Partner Award. 

Craig Kennedy, Consultant & Course Trainer, Open Doors Organization
Craig Kennedy works as a consultant and course trainer with Open Doors Organization, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois. With more than 20 years of experience, Craig has become highly knowledgeable on travel and tourism as related to travelers with disabilities.Craig began focusing on accessibility after personally experiencing the limitations that individuals with disabilities face in everyday life. In 1994, Craig moved from the Adirondack in upstate New York to Steamboat Springs, Colorado where a skiing accident left him paralyzed from the waist down just two years later. Now, he is a published author and Co-Founder of an adaptive travel resource company called Access Anything, with his wife Andy, and founder of CK Consulting. Craig has spent the last 20 years motivating people with disabilities to look beyond their perceived abilities and to advocate for their rights as both people and travelers. He has spent the last 7 years as a founding Board Member and Program Director for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports, helping to grow the adaptive sports program from the ground up while teaching others with disabilities how to recreate in the outdoors. Craig also works as a Whole Food Nutrition and Business Coach with the Juice Plus company, where he continues to bring positivity towards change, better health, and improved access to the world of disabilities.  

PRM’s & People with Disabilities – Customer Service Behaviors Across European Borders
According to the EuroStat 2014 almost 30% of the European population have a longstanding health problem that hinders one’s daily activities. The European Network for Accessible Tourism says there is roughly €83 billion up for grabs. An Open Doors Organization 2015 study showed that people with disabilities spend US$7 billion on travel per year. So how do you marry proper customer service behaviors with multiple regulations from within Europe and across the globe. Those who are in contact most often and service people with disabilities and their families are the flight crew. Most people are independent in the airport but become very dependent in the cabin. This workshop is to help break down obstacles to access the skies. This will be done by presenting the most basic building blocks for full inclusion. Also, it is evident that flight attendants need to have a more detailed training on US DOT Part 382, EU 1107 and various civil aviation laws governing access in aviation and how these laws mix together by learning the basics of proper customer service. IATA has even begun to form a new working group aimed at making sense of the patchwork of new and current legislation regarding passengers with disabilities. Flight crews need to be in tune with new regulations and how those regulations interplay on flights that cross over country borders. Eric Lipp and Craig Kennedy will present the information and skills in a form that will entertain the attendees while sending a very important message.