Our work is supported by an independent Accessible Aviation Network comprising of industry experts and disabled travellers. This is a small group of people with broad personal and professional experience in air travel who support and advise on QEF’s initiatives, so that we can improve access to travel on commercial aircraft. Members take a ‘pan–disability’ and proportional approach to ensure that advice serves both the travelling public and the aviation industry.
About our members:
Sulaiman is the founder and chief purpose officer of ThisAbility, the network that supports and celebrates creative disabled talent. He is passionate about the adventures, opportunities and possibilities that flying provides for all, whilst recognising that for many, himself included, it can sometimes be a challenging and stressful environment to access. So he looks forward to working with individuals and organisations to ensure disabled people have the same ease of access and comfortable experience that people without disabilities or reduced mobility often take for granted.
Gilly is an independent advisor to the airline industry and medical profession. She has over twenty years’ experience encouraging and advising airport support services and airlines. She has a particular interest in the passenger experience from travelling to the airport to arrival at the destination.
Wendy is the head of dreams at Dreams Come True charity and has been accompanying groups of disabled families to the USA since 2002. Her role as group leader is to make all the arrangements for the trip including specialist seating and oxygen on the aircraft when required. Whilst she’s seen many changes over the years she still finds it very challenging for disabled passengers to fly, particularly if they’re wheelchair dependent and need toileting aboard the aircraft.
Geraldine has twenty years of experience working for an international airline assisting customers with disabilities and / or medical conditions to fly as safely and comfortably as possible. She is also responsible for ensuring the airline complies with current aviation related accessibility legislation. In addition she is an innovator who has introduced an onboard accessible IFE tablet and a hidden disability alert system to aid customers who need such assistance. She is also working with others in the industry to drive through projects to enhance accessible air travel.
Rosemary Frazer is a passionate advocate for disability equality working for over 25 years developing policy and campaigns to improve the lives of disabled people. A wheelchair user who has worked at a range of Public and Voluntary sector organisations including the BBC, Mencap, RNIB, Macmillan Cancer Support and Scope. More recently her focus has been on how design and innovation can be used to enhance the lives of disabled people. Transport is a particular interest especially in finding ways to make air travel more accessible.
Joanne has had MS for about five years and is a wheelchair user. She has continued to travel a lot, both in the UK and overseas, and intends to use her experience to help others.
Mary is a fully trained personal and executive coach and disability equality trainer, with over 25 years’ service delivery management experience working for global software companies. She is also a wheelchair user who advocates normalising disability in business through presence and education. She is also a solo private pilot and has been an independent business traveller for over two decades and has been on more flights than she can remember. As a champion of the customer experience in technology, she's committed to ensuring the travel industry becomes more inclusive and provides exceptional customer service as standard.
Chris is a single father to two disabled young adults. They are both now in their twenties with undiagnosed conditions and they live their lives in power wheelchairs. Chris’ experiences of using air travel with them has been very difficult, and he now campaigns to create a positive structure for passengers to remain in their wheelchairs in the aircraft cabin.
Andy has 30+ years in the tourism and leisure industry - 20 of which have been spent managing the needs and requirements of disabled holidaymakers travelling worldwide, through his company Accessible Travel and Leisure.
He is a wheelchair user, who has extensive knowledge and appreciation of both the public sector and corporate world. Andy is also a Disability Advocate/Ambassador for a number of UK airports, including Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, where he provides practical guidance and advice, to support and enhance their disabled passengers` seamless end to end journey experience. This includes evaluating the suitability of current staff training modules, auditing infrastructure, and testing and challenging existing processes and procedures. He also chairs a number of airport consultative committees, which are designed to build future partnerships and collaborations with local charities and disability organisations. He is committed to providing equal opportunities for the disabled community, by harnessing an understanding of the challenges, anxieties and frustrations faced by disabled people.`