Caledonian Macbrayne (Calmac Ferries)
Calmac Ferries have been involved with the Accessible Travel Plan and have had a strong presence on the Accessible Travel Steering Group in its development. They recognise that more must be done to ensure that disabled people can travel freely in Scotland and that good practice is a ongoing commitment.
Of course, there are limitations when dealing with existing vessels which do not allow for major restructuring and many disabled people are still unable to travel as they would if the vessels were fully accessible. Some ferries are too small to provide adequate toilet facilities, whilst others may not allow for those to access decks. However, within the parameters of what is feasible, Calmac Ferries do what they can to provide a service to disabled people or those with limited mobility whilst using their vessels.
During SDEF’s Transport Engagement Events, there were various reports from members who contributed to the discussions of staff ‘going the extra mile’ to bring tea and coffee down to those who were unable to the reach the upper decks due to mobility or health issues, or assisting those with support needs to use the facilities available on the ferries.
Reasonable adjustment (link to page on this) is a huge part of providing a service, when access is limited by other factors. Calmac Staff training includes disability equality to ensure that those on the vessels are understanding of the needs of their disabled passengers and know how to assist those with support needs – or be resourceful when met with a barrier which cannot immediately be rectified.
Visit their Passenger Assist Website (link to https://www.calmac.co.uk/on-board/passenger-assistance) to find out more about Support Dogs, Special Dietary Requirements, Carrying Medical Oxygen, Motorised Wheelchairs, Accessible Timetables, Passenger Welfare, Website Accessibility Standards, Blue Badge Discount, Assistance available at Manned and Unmanned ports, Lift availability and Assistance available on board.
You can also watch Calmac Ferries Passenger Assist Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NTfmkhi-84) provides some information on what assistance is available.