Congratulations Magnus! Scandic’s Disability Coordinator is five years old
3 December is the UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Scandic offers its congratulations to Magnus Berglund, who has worked as the hotel chain's Disability Coordinator for five years now. The trend is clear; more and more people with disabilities are working, attending conferences and meetings and enjoying leisure stays at hotels. Europe has around 50 million people with disabilities and many companies have a strong focus on the differing needs of their staff. One person in a wheelchair can affect where a conference of several hundred people will be held.
Five years ago, Magnus was on permanent sick leave, with no hope of returning to the world of work. But then he had an idea of how Scandic could increase its revenue and at the same time do its bit for accessibility in society. Now he's celebrating five years as Scandic's Disability Coordinator. Magnus and his assistance dog Ada have become well-known figures within and beyond Scandic.
The same value for money
A lot has happened as a direct consequence of our focused work to increase accessibility. Tens of thousands of extra hotel nights have been booked, prizes have been won, and Magnus's job as Disability Coordinator helps Scandic to keep track of what guests need and want. The hotel chain has its own minimum standard for accessibility in the form of a 93-point list. These points include improving the standard of disabled rooms with the addition of height-adjustable beds, having a walking stick holder in reception and offering a vibrating alarm clock that also serves as a fire alarm. The rooms are both functional and attractively furnished.
"When I went travelling around Europe five years ago, staying in disabled rooms, they often looked like hospital rooms. Who wants to pay for that kind of thing when you're on a business trip or holiday? I want just as good value for money as guests without a disability," comments Magnus.
Much has been achieved but there is more still to do
Magnus thinks that more companies should put accessibility at the heart of everything they do, instead of doing just enough to avoid criticism. When Scandic builds or refits a hotel, it looks beyond what the law says has to be done and listens carefully to what guests need. They know best, they have their requirements and they won't hesitate to avoid hotels that fail to take accessibility seriously. That's why Scandic is convinced that a professional approach to accessibility is the only way to go in the future.
"Few people with disabilities want special treatment; they just want the same opportunities as everyone else in society and that includes travel, meetings and accommodation. For Scandic, this is an issue of competitiveness. As well as showing our commitment to social justice, we see major commercial benefits in being accessible to all. This is a special anniversary for me. Five years ago I was excluded from the labour market. Today, I'm involved in taking forward the issue of accessibility, an area that impacts on companies' profits and affects millions of people every day," concludes Magnus Berglund, Disability Coordinator at Scandic.
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About Scandic Hotels
Scandic is the largest hotel company in the Nordic region with 14,400 team members and a network of close to 230 hotels with about 44,000 hotel rooms in operation and under development. Scandic Friends is the biggest loyalty program in the Nordic hotel sector with 1.9 million members. Corporate responsibility has always been a part of Scandic"s DNA and Scandic has been named Best Hotel Brand in the Nordic countries (BDRC). Since December 2, 2015, Scandic has been listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.