QASA is regularly contracted by BidAir, Swissport and Menzies to train the assistive staff at various airports throughout South Africa. These staff members assist passengers who require any form of help, from checking in to being seated on the aircraft.
There is a large turnover of staff within this profession, and therefore Mandy Latimore, the preferred trainer for QASA, travels to various airports to train new staff, as well as provide refresher courses for existing staff. The training consists of an intense theory session, which includes creating a sound knowledge base of the various aspects of disability, and how to interact with the three main sectors – people with mobility, hearing and visual impairments. The practical session starts in the classrooms with role-play, where lifting techniques are taught. Trainees are also given the chance both to guide and to be guided while blindfolded.
There is a multiple-choice exam at the end of the training with a pass rate of 75 percent and successful trainees receive a certificate of attendance from QASA. At present, QASA is in the process of ensuring that the course is South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accredited, which will make it a qualification accepted by the industry.
Ari Seirlis is the CEO of the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and managing editor of Rolling Inspiration. email: email@example.com