Hidden disabilities | Special Assistance | Bristol Airport
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Hidden disabilities

Please see below advice for parents and carers travelling with children and adults who have a Hidden Disability.

For more information please contact [email protected] or telephone 01275 473403.

Bristol Airport has worked with OCS Group, the special assistance provider at the Airport, and local Dementia, Autism and Alzheimer charities in developing a hidden disabilities assistance card in addition to the lanyard scheme. The card, which is the size of a business card, acts as a discreet sign to airport staff to identify passengers who may need additional support or assistance as they travel through the airport. The card can be handed discreetly to airport staff along with the passenger’s boarding pass or passport.

Hidden disabilities assistance card and lanyard scheme

The special assistance card advises staff that a passenger may need more time to process information, help in avoiding crowded places or extra assistance in reading departure boards or flight information, for example. The card also encourages airport staff to use clear language when giving instructions. Airport staff will also be aware that passengers carrying a card may need to remain with a family member or companion at all times.

Hidden disability assistance cards, lanyards and booklets are available on request at the OCS Reception desk located in the terminal concourse.

In conjunction with the launch of the hidden disabilities special assistance card, OCS Group has worked with Thumbs Up World Ltd to produce a small colour booklet containing useful information for passengers with hidden disabilities using Bristol Airport.

The booklet is designed for passengers and their families and carers to use before and during a journey from the airport. It provides a clear guide on what to expect at the airport with photographs of each area including check-in, security, retail and catering outlets, boarding, arrivals and baggage reclaim. The booklet also contains space for passengers to record their own specific needs or any questions they may have along with emergency medical and contact information.

A video of the guide has been developed by Thumbs Up World UK and will be available on the Bristol Airport website as an additional resource for passengers.

Passengers or their families and carers travelling through Bristol Airport can request a booklet in advance from OCS by emailing [email protected] providing their name, departure date and relevant flight information. Alternatively, the booklet is available to download here.

The National Autistic Society has some helpful advice on what to do if you're travelling with children or adults with autism. If you are travelling with a child with autism and want to know more about air travel, take a look at this video for more assistance.

The Ramble Tag

The Ramble Tag is available for passengers who have requested visual impairment assistance on arrival at the Airport with OCS – offering piece of mind each time they travel.

The Ramble Tag at Bristol Airport

Passengers with Dementia

Airports are very busy places with lots of noise and distractions. If you have Dementia these things can become even more amplified. The Alzheimer Society provides a useful fact sheet with advice for people travelling on holiday.

We have made great progress in getting as many front line staff as possible Dementia Friends to ensure they are aware of the complexity and not everyone with Dementia has the same needs as the next. Importantly they are able to offer support when it is needed.

Travelling with IBD

If you have Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis (the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD) you may find the thought of travelling quite daunting, whether that’s due to toilet accessibility, going through security with a stoma bag or other IBD related concerns.

To help with any anxiety and make sure you have a more positive travel experience, Crohn’s and Colitis UK have put together a travel and IBD fact sheet to help you feel more comfortable when planning a vacation or business trip.

Sensory Room

Our sensory room is designed specifically for passengers with disabilities such as autism, dementia or cognitive impairment, who would benefit from a safe and interactive place when in unfamiliar surroundings.  Located in the Special Assistance area in the departure lounge. It is wheelchair accessible and free for customers departing from the airport, with 45-minute sessions available through our booking system.