We all look forward to taking vacations and visiting family and friends. These experiences create lifelong memories and strengthen the important relationships in our lives. However, for many people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD), the experience of air travel can be overwhelming and difficult, making these trips seem impossible.
The Houston Airport System, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), United Airlines, local chapters of The Arc team up to offer a chance to make the idea of air travel a little less daunting for families with children with autism or other intellectual disabilities.
Wings for All® event is held at George Bush Intercontinental Airport or Hobby Airport. Wings for All® is a program of The Arc of the United States that provides families with a real-life simulation of the air travel experience. Through Wings for All®, families of children with autism and other intellectual disabilities are able to practice going through the airport and getting on board an aircraft, so that when it is time to travel on an actual trip, they are more familiar with the process and their surroundings.
While on the plane, they buckle up, enjoy a beverage and snack, and listen to the captain’s announcements. They can familiarize themselves with the seats, tray tables, and aircraft restrooms. Wings for All® also gives the airport, airline and TSA professionals the opportunity to observe, interact and deliver their services in a structured, learning environment.
Due to TSA regulations, families interested in attending the event must register in advance, and substitutions on the day of the event are not allowed. Anyone over the age of 18 participating must have a valid photo ID with them. The TSA website has a list of all acceptable IDs which include, a driver’s license, United States passport or valid U.S. military ID.
This event is held in partnership with The Arc of Fort Bend County, The Arc of Greater Houston and The Arc of Texas.