Autism NI have awarded an Autism Impact Award to Belfast International Airport for adjustments made to the airport journey for those passengers with autism.
Rod Haskins, Airport Operations manager said, “ 25 staff members from various organisations within Belfast International Airport worked alongside Autism NI to gain knowledge in the fundamentals of Autism and as a result two staff members been appointed as Autism champions. Our champions have completed an accredited assessment and were responsible for overseeing the implementation of an agreed plan of adjustments within the airport to help individuals with autism and their families on their journey through the airport.
So far we have made several changes such as having a reserved quieter seating area in the International departures corridor, noise symbols for hand dryers, music signs in cafes, social stories in security. In addition we have created a downloadable visual pre-visit guide including a countdown timer and holiday guide available on our website. We look forward to working together with Autism Ni in the future to further assist individuals with Autism and their families on their journey through the airport.”
Orla Kelly, Autism NI’s Training and development officer, said, “We are delighted Belfast International Airport has decided to take part in the Impact Award, having already heard from families first hand that have used the airport’s pre-visit guide and the difference in anxiety levels it has made when travelling simply due to making the airport a more predictable place we are encouraging more individuals to use the online resources. We look forward to the ongoing partnership with the airport. Well done everyone”
Autism NI is Northern Ireland’s largest Autism charity, which exists to support individuals with Autism and their families. It campaigns to raise awareness of Autism within wider society and to support those affected by this disability in becoming integrated, valued members of the community. Tuesday 2nd April 2019 is World Autism Awareness Day and April is Autism Awareness month.