The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has debuted a new online learning program, Elements of Service: Serving Guests with Disabilities, designed to train guest-facing hotel employees in best practices for serving guests with physical disabilities, including vision, hearing, and mobility impairments.
The goal of this course is to ensure that service providers feel confident and equipped to handle service interactions with hotel guests who are disabled - without the uncertainty, confusion, and missteps that often characterize the experience of both service providers and hotel guests with disabilities.
The program shows learners how to apply the Five Elements of Service to ensure effective service interaction. They will learn general information about disabilities, as well as specific techniques for serving people who are blind and vision-impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, and mobility impaired.
The program was developed by Slatin Media Group, co-founded by Peter Slatin, a hotel consultant and writer who is blind, and Jason Willensky, an instructional designer specializing in online learning, performance support, and classroom training for industry and government. The content of the program is based on Slatin’s in-person workshop of the same name.
Slatin, a noted writer on business and commercial real estate, created the program as a result of experiences he had during his global travels.
“As I’ve traveled, either with my guide dog or my white cane, I’ve had so many encounters with staff at hotels, airports, restaurants, and taxis, and often thought to myself, ‘Why doesn’t someone train these workers in how to interact appropriately with guests who have disabilities?’” he recalled. “Finally, after a particularly terrible experience, I decided that I had to create something myself.”
Slatin initially designed an in-person workshop, which he has delivered at individual hotel properties around the country. To broaden the accessibility of the training, he decided to translate the program into an online format, with the expertise of Willensky.
“The information in the course is mostly intuitive knowledge, but presenting it in a formal training setting gives employees the permission to do what they think is right,” said Slatin. “It’s all about social access—making destinations accessible and appealing to all travelers.”
The Elements of Service online program is available for individual learners and can also be licensed by organizations who wish to train multiple employees. For more information, visit www.ahlei.org or contact an AHLEI sales manager at 1.800.349.0299 or +1.407.999.8100.
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