Tips on how to accommodate disabled passengers

March 30th, 2016

row of white taxi in Milan, Italy

As a taxi driver, you want to help your passengers as much as you can – and although usually that’s as simple as getting them from a to b, sometimes there may be other ways in which you can make their trip easier. For instance, some disabled passengers might need a little extra attention or care to ensure that they have a comfortable journey. Here are a few tips for helping disabled passengers in your cab:

Treat Equipment Carefully

We’re sure that you’re always careful when dealing with a customer’s luggage, however this becomes even more important when it’s a vital piece of equipment such as a wheelchair. If you’re storing a wheelchair, ensure that it’s folded correctly, and lower it into the boot of the car gently. Wheelchairs can be heavy, so lift with your legs to lookout for your own safety.

Ask Before Giving Assistance

Similarly, you might want to ask somebody if they need assistance when they’re clearly struggling, but don’t try to help with tasks that they can manage, and don’t do anything without asking first. You may think you’re helping, but respecting people’s boundaries and avoiding being patronising is always important. For example, don’t push somebody’s wheelchair unless they ask, or explicitly show that it is required.

Never Talk Down to People

Whether your passenger has a  mental disability or a physical disability, it’s important to address them as you would any other passenger. There is never any reason to speak down to somebody. You should aim to be as clear and informative as you can if it seems that your passenger is struggling to understand you – of course, this is good advice for dealing with any customer!

Consider Specific Needs

It’s very important that you consider the specific needs of each individual, however specific disabilities could affect your passenger’s journey in different ways. For instance, a visually impaired person may want to be told how close they are to the destination at various points in the journey, or given information about traffic problems, while a passenger with a wheelchair may need you to park in a particular way to make it easier for them to enter and exit the vehicle.

The key is to simply treat disabled passengers as you would anybody else, while simultaneously being open to any additional help that they might need and aware of specific concerns. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Taxi Choice Insurance blog for more great advice. You can get in touch online or call 0333 200 0089.


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