Press Releases

WINGS FOR ALL® LANDS AT BLUE GRASS AIRPORT

October 30, 2018 – On November 3rd, The Arc of Kentucky, The Arc of Central Kentucky, Delta Air Lines and The Arc of the United States will co-host a Wings for All® event at Blue Grass Airport. This event is being held in partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Autism Society of the Bluegrass. Originated by the Charles River Center, a local chapter of The Arc in Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Port Authority, the Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® program is an airport "rehearsal" created to alleviate some of the stress that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families experience when traveling by air.

During the event, participants will check in to receive their boarding passes, pass through the TSA security checkpoint, wait in the boarding area and board the aircraft. The program will feature a presentation on the aircraft's features, in-flight safety protocols and take-off procedures. Wings for All also gives airport, airline, TSA professionals and other personnel the opportunity to observe, interact and deliver their services in a structured, learning environment.

This event is open to all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Lexington area and beyond who seek a safe but realistic experience of travelling through a busy airport. More than 70 participants from the greater Lexington area expected to attend the event.

MEDIA RSVP REQUIRED: Interviews will be available for media. All media must RSVP to Sherri Brothers, 502-517-6511 or sherri@arcofky.org by Friday, November 2nd. Media will not be allowed past TSA security checkpoint, but will be able to interview families, The Arc, and airport personnel and film during the check-in process. Participants will start checking-in for the event at 1:00pm.

"We are excited to be hosting this special event for our community," said Eric Frankl, executive director at Blue Grass Airport. "This program provides families with an excellent opportunity to experience the airport environment in advance so that everyone is more relaxed the day of their trip. In addition, it educates airport, airline and Transportation Security Administration staff on how we can best assist passengers with special needs."

"The Arc of Kentucky is committed to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and is enthusiastic about the collaboration with the Autism Society of the Bluegrass, Blue Grass Airport, and Delta Air Lines. We are excited to bring a new program, Wings for All, to Lexington. Traveling can be difficult for individuals with disabilities and their families. Wings for All helps make our children and adults more comfortable during the air travel experience. We are thankful to all our volunteers who help to make this event possible" said Sherri Brothers, Executive Director of The Arc of Kentucky. "We are extremely happy for the opportunity to partner with The Arc and Blue Grass Airport to serve the people in our community," said Vincent Marsh of Delta Air Lines.

"We are excited to bring the Wings for All® program to Lexington, KY. For parents of children with autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, everyday tasks can sometimes prove to be far more difficult for their child. Air travel can prove particularly challenging between clearing security, the overwhelming noises, and harsh lights. This program will not only continue to alleviate the stress children and their parents may feel, but further help educate airport and airline professionals about how best to serve children with autism or other intellectual and developmental disabilities in the future," said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc.

The Autism Society of the Bluegrass is a resource and support group for families and professionals in the Central Kentucky area who are involved with autism. We are a chapter of the Autism Society of America and a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. We provide education as well as scholarships for our members to obtain continuing autism-related education.

The Arc
The Arc advocates for and serves people with I/DD, including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of more than 650 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.

Blue Grass Airport
Located in Lexington, Kentucky, Blue Grass Airport is served by four major airlines providing non-stop and connecting service to hundreds of destinations worldwide. The airport serves more than 1.3 million passengers annually and supports our community with an economic output exceeding $370 million. Receive the latest airport news by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluegrassairport or following us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bgairport.

Editor's Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.

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