TRIGON Hotels hopes to make everyday interactions a little easier for customers with hidden disabilities.
The Cork based company is the first hotel group in the Republic of Ireland to become Just A Minute (JAM) card friendly.
The small plastic card allows people with a learning difficulty, autism, hidden disability or communication barrier to tell others they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily. The JAM card is also available as an app on your smartphone. It was developed by Belfast based social enterprise NOW Group and is used by 75,000 people across the UK and Ireland.
Team members at Trigon Hotels are being trained to identify and support customers and fellow team members carrying JAM cards.
Trigon Hotels operates The Metropole Hotel Cork, the Cork International Hotel and the Cork Airport Hotel. Across the three hotels there are 334 guest rooms in Cork.
Kathleen Linehan, strategic director of HR at Trigon Hotels said: “We want our hotels to be friendly, welcoming and accessible to all and we are excited to collaborate with Now Group on the Just A Minute Cards.
“People with memory problems or difficulty with communication are often reluctant or unable to tell others about their condition. JAM Card allows this to happen in a simple, effective non-verbal manner. We hope that it will take the stress away from our customers and team members and make their experience with us even more enjoyable.”
Minister Anne Rabbitte, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability launched the initiative at Trigon Hotels.
She said: “I’m delighted to be part of the launch of the JAM card at Trigon Hotels in Cork. This is such a positive initiative and ensures the hotels are even more accessible.
“To me, a business being JAM card friendly indicates that its staff and wider business has accessibility at its core and does what it needs to to support its customers. This ensures people have the time they need and don’t feel under pressure, and I would hope other businesses will follow suit.”
Maeve Monaghan, chief executive of NOW Group said: “We are so pleased that Trigon Hotels has partnered with us to become JAM card friendly and recognise the value of investing in training their staff to provide great customer service for people with both visible and hidden disabilities.
“It may be ‘Just A Minute’ but that extra time and understanding can really support and comfort those with communications barriers, helping to give them equal access to the services they need.”