Traveling With Kids for Spring Break? Try This Free Resource.

An airplane on a runway in front of a setting sunWe live in Chicago, and trust me, O’Hare International Airport can be an overwhelming sensory experience for anyone, let alone a child with a disability. Our son Gus is grown now, and as a child he only flew with us twice. The first time, he was 2 years old. After the second time, when Gus was 10 years old, we vowed he’d never fly with us again. But now maybe we’ll consider giving it another try.

The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP), The Hope Institute for Children and Families, and the Have Dreams Project have come together to create aviation accessibility kits they say could make the trip from ticket counter, through security, on to the gate and finally into the air easier for people with special needs, especially those on the autism spectrum. These organizations worked with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Aviation to create kits at three levels of complexity. The educational materials aim to reduce anxiety and make travel more accessible and enjoyable for people with ASD and other disabilities as they travel to airports, go through checkpoints, and fly on the planes.

The kits lay out the steps involved in moving through an airport in words and pictures, and although they were made with the help of the Chicago Department of Aviation, they are intended for use at many other airports across the state and country.

So like I say, maybe it’s worth another try. Airline tickets may be expensive, but hey, you can download the aviation accessibility kits for free!

Read more about what it’s like to travel as a person with a disability.


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

Comments are closed.