Spectrum Sky

Alabama Autism Safety Initiative addresses the need for statewide safety measures:

Airport Training Program Provides Airport Rehearsal and Staff Autism Training

D.A.T.S.M.O.M. continues its mission to reduce and eliminate access barriers for our children on the spectrum. With creation of programs like Spectrum Sky, kids like Jaxson Jordan and their families receive free training, support and resources to help shift Jaxson’s disability into an ability. After stepping off an airplane for the first time, Jaxson certainly looks liberated and ready to learn the necessary skills to take on the challenges of having a different ability and the challenges the world will put before him.

 

Montgomery, Ala.— Air travel and navigating through an airport are some of the most overstimulating events for individuals diagnosed with autism.

D.A.T.S.M.O.M. Founder Tametria Conner Dantzler created Spectrum Sky to help alleviate some of the stress people on the spectrum and their families experience traveling by air.

“Many families avoid these types of activities instead of using the travel experience as an opportunity to advocate for their children,” Dantzler said.

The airport training is a historic move toward autism awareness and training. “We are pleased to form a lasting partnership with D.A.T.S.M.O.M. in serving a new demographic of travelers. The training experience is a great way to improve the staff’s disability competency and processes for accommodating all passengers who fly,” Montgomery Regional Airport Executive Airport Director Marshall Taggart, Jr. said.

Children and their families will participate in an airport rehearsal, with demonstrations of security measures and in-flight safety protocols on a plane. While the plane will not take off, the goal is to create safe, sensory compatible travel options.

“We want participants to practice in a structured environment. They will gain an understanding of what to expect, while learning how they may access and react to different stimuli in the airport,” Dantzler said.

MGM staff will receive training on best practices for interaction and accessing of sensory needs during airport navigation and travel.

“Disability accommodations are currently available, but this is our first time focusing on those in autism community to gain awareness on how our airport can best serve them,” Taggart said.

Montgomery Regional Airport Safety and Security Chief Mack McGill, along with TSA agents and airport staff will work collaboratively with D.A.T.S.M.O.M. to host two trainings from 9 until 11a.m. on Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 28, 2020.

Spectrum Sky is a part of the D.A.T.S.M.O.M. Alabama Autism Safety Initiative. For additional information about bringing Spectrum Sky to an airport near you, please email datsmom@yahoo.com.

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