By: Beth Vaughan
Last week, Autism Speaks and JetBlue Airways hosted more than 250 people at the blue Horizons for Autism airport rehearsal event at JKF International Airport in New York City. Blue Horizons for Autism provides families and individuals affected by autism with the opportunity to navigate their air travel experience in a realistic, relaxed environment, surrounded by other families in the autism community.
The goal of the event was to provide the families with an opportunity to experience air travel, as well as educate airport and airline crewmembers about autism and how to best meet the needs of the autism community.
The families that attended the event began their day by checking in at the airport’s ticket counter. From there, they proceeded on through security screenings and waited at a designated gate for the arrival of their flight. Once the families boarded the flight, JetBlue employees led them all through pre-takeoff procedures. The plane taxied around the jet way for twenty minutes, to simulate a real, in-air experience before disembarking.
It was truly an unforgettable experience for all of those who participated that day. Autism Speaks and JetBlue are working hard to plan Blue Horizons for Autism events in as many cities as possible. Stay tuned to their Facebook page to see if they are coming to an area near you in the future!