that 15% of the global population has some form of disability (visual, auditory, motor or cognitive)? That’s over one billion people worldwide and over 41 million Americans.
Many people with disabilities want to travel but find the challenges of navigating a new destination to be so daunting that they get discouraged and choose not to go.
We want to change that—at least when it comes to visiting Raleigh, N.C. The GRCVB has launched a new initiative to train, equip and motivate all Wake County hospitality partners to provide extraordinary customer service for people with disabilities.
To begin, GRCVB is hosting All Access Wake County, a day-long, accessibility awareness and training day for staff of area hospitality partners (hotels, restaurants, retailers, attractions and service providers).
All Access Wake County
Nov. 18, 2019 • 9am-2:30pm
Raleigh Convention Center
The day will begin with a plenary presentation by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, authors of the book “I’ll Push You.” Justin and Patrick were also featured in a full-length film of the same name, which documented their journey on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Justin is the only person in the 1,000-year history of the trail to have completed the journey in a wheelchair. Their story is a powerful one of friendship and perseverance and is well worth watching. Justin and Patrick have appeared on The TODAY Show, Harry, the Meredith Vieira Show and others.
Justin, who has a neuromuscular disease similar to ALS, also hosts a website, itsjustin.co, to help disabled travelers navigate some of the practical and daunting challenges they face. He also regularly teaches hotel, restaurant, venue and attraction partners how we can make our businesses and services accessibility to all travelers. That is what he and Patrick will be sharing with us in the plenary session. For more about Justin and Patrick, visit the I'll Push You website.
In addition to the plenary session, the day will offer a series of breakout sessions with insight, awareness and practical takeaways for all hospitality partners to utilize when you return to your workplace. Space is limited so please register as early as possible. Individual tickets are $39 and include lunch. A special discounted rate is available for area students at $20, which also includes lunch. Registration will close on Fri., Nov. 11, 2019.
If you have a disability and require accommodation to participate in this event, please check the appropriate box on the registration form. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.
Coffee and refreshments
Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray
Session 1: About the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
• The Basics
• New developments in the ADA
• Ways to make your business more accessible tomorrow
Mini-Session: A Word About—
• The importance of upfront and effective communication
• Every customer touchpoint matters
• Universal design
• Hiring people with disabilities in the Wake County hospitality industry
Session 2: Equipped for Stellar Customer Service
• Disability etiquette for interacting with customers with disabilities
• Appropriate language and terminology
• What are basic ADA accommodations and how to find them (ASL, audio description, etc.)
• Resources for staff training
For Hotels: Tools, resources and information to help hotel partners provide stellar customer service to visitors with disabilities
For Restaurants: Tools, resources and information to help restaurants provide stellar customer service to visitors with disabilities
For Venues, Events and Meetings and Conventions: Tools, resources and information to help event partners provide stellar customer service to visitors with disabilities
For Attractions and Retailers: Tools, resources and information to help attraction partners provide stellar customer service to visitors with disabilities
Accessibility service exhibitors
A number of local accessibility non-profit organizations and resource providers will be on hand to share with you what resources they have to offer to Wake County hospitality businesses. Please plan to spend a few minutes meeting and becoming familiar with these representatives.
The fee for exhibitors is $100 and includes a skirted table and two chairs, as well as lunch and admission to all sessions. If you would like to bring more than two representatives, please register them as regular attendees.
To exhibit at All Access Wake County, click the exhibitor link below, If you have questions, please contact Gray Henderson, CGSP®, at the GRCVB at 919.645.2680.