Oct. 28, 2013 — On Saturday, the CVG launched SOAR, Starting Our Adventure Right, in conjunction with the Kelly O’Leary Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati. SOAR would not be possible without partnerships with TSA and Delta Air Lines.
The SOAR program at CVG was initiated after CVG employees became aware of Wings for Autism which started at the Boston Logan International Airport. The SOAR team met regularly over the last several months developing a training program for Airport employees, support tools for traveling families, and planning the airport simulation event. Participants in the simulation event are individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The goal of the SOAR program is to give families and partners of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder the opportunity to see how the participant responds to the many new situations at the airport. Participants practiced checking in at ticketing, getting a boarding pass, going through security, boarding and exiting a plane and baggage claim.
During the inaugural SOAR Program at CVG, eight families who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorder participated. The children ranged in age and varied on the Autism Spectrum.
“We strive to accommodate our passengers at CVG,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. “This is a great opportunity for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to experience CVG. We want our passengers to feel safe and comfortable when flying. We are proud to partner with The Kelly O’Leary Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati, TSA and Delta Air Lines.”
This was the inaugural SOAR Program at CVG. If you are interested in participating in future SOAR Programs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The hope is to align SOAR with Wings for Autism, a national program through The ARC.