By Christine Cusatis, Centerlines Editor
Jennifer Robtoy of The Charles River Center said Wednesday that the Wings for Autism program, designed to familiarize autistic children with airports, will expand to four airports outside of New England through a grant from Autism Speaks.
The grant also will fund production of a training video to provide TSA with awareness of the interpersonal communication skills needed to accommodate children with special needs.
Robtoy, along with Brad Martin of Boston Logan, spoke about the program during a session on Accessibility Beyond Government Requirements at the ACI-NA Customer Service Seminar near Jacksonville.. A joint effort of Boston Logan, TSA, JetBlue and The Charles River Center, the program has hosted 220 children and 920 family members to date in four sessions. Another session is scheduled for the Spring.
Though designed for autistic children, the program accommodates children with a variety of disabilities, guiding them through check-in, security and boarding. Robtoy said the children are “like snowflakes—no two are the same.” In this regard, the program provides an invaluable learning opportunity for children, parents and airport employees.
President Greg Principato said ACI-NA is fully supportive of efforts to expand Wings for Autism to airports nationwide.
For more information on Wings for Autism, contact Robtoy at email@example.com.