FAST (Facilitating Accessibility in Support of Tourism) addresses a service need which is currently a key barrier to accessible travel. Personal Assistant Services (PAS) are often necessary to accessible travelers but expensive to have, primarily because they are controlled by travel agencies and the supply of such professionals is low. This project will develop the definition of the individual who offers PAS to give more people the opportunity to become “Accessibility Travel Facilitators” (ATF). In this regard, FAST will first define the exact role and duties of the ATF under the new conditions and requirements. By clearly defining the role, the responsibilities and corresponding expectations will be set. Consequently, the definition of the position will identify the necessary qualifications, experience, and educational requirements.
As the occupational role of the ATF will be significant and key to the growth of accessible tourism, the project will design a qualifications framework for its profile to accredit the acquired skills by defining the level descriptors and the corresponding learning outcomes based on EQF. This will also facilitate access to, mobility and progression within education, training and career path.
Furthermore, this will enable national qualification systems to expedite recognition of the acquired skills and competences, thereby ensuring an integrated system that encourages lifelong learning. FAST will then develop the necessary training framework comprising of the training methodology, training curricula and didactic material.
Lastly, an Assessment Guide will be developed to address assessment strategies for the different stages of learning.
The overall aims of the project are to:
- Define ATF as an occupation in accordance with EQF, thus establishing the basis for all European national qualification systems to licence it as a qualified job.
- Achieve ECVET/EQF/NQF conformity for the description of this position to allow mobility of learners, facilitate lifelong learning and qualifications recognition.
- Encourage the local authorities to take control of this service, thus benefiting their local economies.
- Motivate disable travellers to have more travel experiences without significant cost.
- Eliminate significant cost barriers associated with escorting for the disabled traveler.
- Foster transnational cooperation among the widest possible number of actors along the tourism value chain to better service accessible tourists.