Now we're talking
Published: Fri 2 Sep 2016
V/Line is making it easier and more comfortable for passengers with communication difficulties to travel, after becoming the first public transport operator in the world to be recognised as communication accessible.
Each year, more than two million V/Line trips are taken by someone with a communication difficulty, including those with disabilities due to physical or sensory reasons, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, or those with limited English.
To gain a better understanding of how different people communicate, V/Line’s 550 frontline staff and PTV’s 250 call centre employees completed formal disability awareness training to help them assist all passengers.
In partnership with disability service provider Scope Australia, V/Line developed communication aid tools to make it easier for all customers and staff to communicate throughout their journey.
Picture, sentence and spelling boards are already helping passengers who may not be able to talk or find it difficult to communicate, and V/Line journey and reminder cards inform commuters of station staffing hours and other services.
As part of V/Line’s accreditation with the Communication Access Symbol, the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) call centre was also recognised as communication accessible, making it the first in the world. The PTV hubs in Melbourne, Geelong and Bendigo also received accreditation.
The Communication Access Symbol has been developed by Scope, and is comparable to the International Symbol for Access, but with a focus on communication and information, rather than on the physical environment.