20 FEBRUARY 2017
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Visual guides online to help to prepare people with autism and similar conditions for air travel have been produced by Aer Lingus in partnership with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia.
Intended to ease anxieties surrounding flying for individuals with autism, the guides – an industry first – contain a series of slides that walk the viewer through all the steps involved in preparing for and experiencing air travel. They can be downloaded from the airline website.
The guides are designed to capture the entire air travel experience in colour photographs with first-person language and are divided into three parts: pre-flight, on board and post-flight.
Aer Lingus said it recommended passengers should go through the guides before travelling to prepare for events such as changes in engine noise that can be anxiety-inducing in individuals with autism.
The guides were made available online so caregivers could access them easily, whether on a desktop computer, on the go via a mobile device or by printing them out on to cards.
The initiative was welcomed by the National Autistic Society, which said it was keen to work with airports, airlines and businesses so autistic people and their families had the same travel opportunities as everyone else.
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