LaGuardia achieves highest accessibility rating from Rick Hansen Foundation

LinkedIn +

LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B in New York has earned gold in the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program – the highest rating in the accessibility awareness program.

As part of the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport, Terminal B was designed to be accessible for guests with hearing, vision and mobility disabilities. The terminal is equipped with hearing loops available at all guest experience desks, intuitive departure board displays in two formats along with color coding to support easy interpretation and gate distance information, accessible assistance at curbside drop-off/check-in service with call buttons, color-coded wayfinding across the airport, and a calming seating area with sensory stimulation features such as plants and foliage.

Terminal B also offers the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard to guests with disabilities that may not be easy to observe, such as autism, PTSD and hearing loss. The lanyard identifies these guests and communicates that they may need extra help while traveling through the terminal.

The Canada-based Rick Hansen Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness, changing attitudes and removing barriers for people with disabilities. This recognition makes LaGuardia Terminal B the first airline terminal in the USA to receive this distinction. The RHFAC program helps organizations understand their level of meaningful accessibility from the people-centric perspective of those with varying disabilities. Using common methodology and language, it provides a roadmap on how to improve, helps organizations prioritize decision making based on data and celebrates achievements in their journey toward improved access. Over 1,800 sites have been rated through the program to date with over 1,300 becoming certified.

Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said, “Accessibility is a critical part of the port authority’s mission to create world-class airports, where state-of-the-art technology and thoughtful design will make travel easier and less stressful for passengers of all ability levels. Among all the accolades received by Terminal B, we are particularly proud that the new terminal is the first in the nation to be awarded Gold certification by the Rick Hansen Foundation.”

“We are honored to receive this recognition from The Rick Hansen Foundation, which is a leader in the effort to create and promote accessible spaces,” said Kevin O’Toole, board chairman of the Port Authority. “This gold certification for Terminal B is a testament to the efforts by the port authority and LaGuardia Gateway Partners to provide a best-in-class experience for all of our passengers and communities.”

“Ensuring accessibility in public spaces is a crucial aspect of our commitment. We continue to explore ways to improve the accessibility of Terminal B and ensure that everyone can navigate the terminal with ease,” said Frank Scremin, CEO of LaGuardia Gateway Partners. “We’re proud our commitment to accessibility has received external recognition from the Rick Hansen Foundation.”

“When I embarked on my Man In Motion World Tour in 1985, the vision of a truly inclusive and accessible world for people with disabilities was just a dream. Thanks to the leadership of organizations like the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and LaGuardia Gateway Partners we will get there faster,” said Rick Hansen, founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “Accessible travel is a critical part of creating a world where we all can participate. Thank you for your commitment to helping to create a world where everyone can go everywhere.”

In the April 2023 issue, Passenger Terminal World speaks to Brad McCannell, vice president of access and inclusion at the Rick Hansen Foundation, to find out how airports around the world can increase their accessibility to reduce the stress and danger caused by poorly designed wayfinding initiatives. Click here to read the full article.

Share this story:

About Author

, assistant editor

As the latest addition to the UKi Media & Events team, Elizabeth combines research skills from her English degree with a keen interest in the meteorological and transportation industries. Having taken the lead in student and startup publications, she has gained experience in editing online and print titles on a wide variety of topics. In her role as Assistant Editor, Elizabeth creates new and topical content on the pioneering technologies in transportation, logistics and meteorology.

Comments are closed.