Accessible Tourism Week 

The Accessible Tourism Week took place from 15th to 22nd October for Year 3 students on the Bachelor in Tourism and Hospitality Management. 

A week of immersion

excelia-tourismeThe Accessible Tourism Week took place from 15th to 22nd October for Year 3 students on the Bachelor in Tourism and Hospitality Management (BTH), whether on the English Track, French Track or Work-study Track. A crucial topic to raise awareness among students of the importance of "accessibility" for people with disabilities.

Just like mastering a new language, knowing how to provide the most appropriate welcome for different types of visitors is a skill that needs to be learned and developed. In this respect, in Year 1 of their programme, BTH students have the opportunity to learn sign language, and this Accessible Tourism Week adds another dimension encompassing further credited modules, with a final exam certifying that our future tourism professionals are well prepared for their careers, whether working for a hotel, a museum, a travel agency or a tourist attraction. "It's as important as lessons in Management or Marketing", stresses Victoria Jackson. As Head of Studies for the BTH, she is conscious of the importance of collaborating with associations such as Valentin Haüy for the visually impaired, AFP France handicap for all disabilities, ARDDS for the deaf and hard of hearing, UNAPEI 17 for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities and Charentes Tourism, which awards the Tourisme & Handicap certification. Each day, during the lectures delivered, the various speakers from these organisations, some of whom are themselves disabled, gave our students the opportunity to ask questions, even those on the most taboo subjects, enabling them to develop an increased awareness of all the expectations linked to an accessibility initiative.

Of course, for over 5 years now, the BTH programme has included lessons on all disability related issues, from associations and governing bodies to the human aspect but "this particular disability-awareness week allows us to really concentrate on, and take an in-depth look at, Tourism for All, as this is a subject that is close to our hearts", emphasises Victoria, who is already thinking about the next edition free from current health restrictions. "It will be a more fun week, with more activities, performers, guide dogs, etc., but with the same goal... to raise awareness among our students and, ultimately, among everyone!" she adds.

 


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