EMR collaborates with disability partnership to launch helpful support cards
- EMR worked with Communication Access UK to develop travel support cards
- Free cards are a handy aid for customers to quickly communicate their needs to staff
- Cards are available to order through EMR's website or Customer Service Centre
East Midlands Railway (EMR) has worked with a national disability partnership to launch a set of cards which aim to help customers quickly communicate what extra support or consideration they require when they travel with the train company.
The EMR TALK cards have been created using guidelines provided by Communication Access UK - an initiative developed in partnership by charities and organisations that share a vision to improve the lives of people with communication difficulties.
The free cards are a handy aid for EMR customers to better communicate their needs to the operator so its staff can act quickly to offer the bespoke service they require.
Examples of the messages on the cards include ‘where are the toilets?’ ‘Please face me and speak clearly’ & ‘I have a disability, please be patient’ - plus many other prompts.
The reverse of the cards have a section for the customer to include their name and an emergency contact number - should they wish to.
Customers can order these cards free of charge, and they are available on EMR's website or by contacting its Customer Service Centre.
Dave Meredith, Customer Service Director at East Midlands Railway said he hoped the cards go a small way to help provide customers with extra peace of mind when they travel with EMR.
He said: "Good communication means not just talking but also listening and understanding what others say to us.
"Our customers might have a tough time asking questions, naming things, or seeking help, and others may have trouble speaking clearly, making it hard for others to understand them.
"We train our staff to make sure they understand these issues and these cards are another helpful way we can make sure our customers get the support they require.
"They allow travellers the option to use a quick visual prompt for help and we look forward to hearing from the people using them to see how they get on."
Steve Jamieson, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, said: “Communication difficulties are often invisible, making encounters with train staff more challenging. These simple cards, and the Communication Access UK training, should help to ensure that EMR staff know to give some customers that extra bit of time and space to communicate in their own way. This is a small change for staff which could make a big difference to the millions of people in the UK who have difficulty communicating.”
A small example of the cards available are below. A wider selection can be viewed on EMR's website here: https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/form/talk-passenger-assistance-cards
Media Relations Manager
East Midlands Railway
Notes to editors
Communication Access UK is an initiative developed in partnership by charities and organisations that share a vision to improve the lives of people with communication difficulties.
Led by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the partnership includes:
- Communication Matters (the UK chapter of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication that inspired this work for the UK)
- The Stroke Association
- Headway – the brain injury association
- The Motor Neurone Disease Association
- The National Network of Parent Carer Forums
- The Business Disability Forum
- Disability Rights UK; and
- The Makaton Charity