November 10, 2017 6:11 pm

First-ever airport accessibility tour in Kelowna for children with autism

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The Kelowna International Airport (YLW) has partnered with the Canucks Autism Network  (CAN) to host the first-ever YLW Accessibility Tour for families living with autism.

The tour will take families through the entire pre-flight process, including entering the airport, waiting in line, passing through security and boarding a plane.

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The Canucks Autism Network’s I CAN Fly program” started back in 2014 at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to help ease the anxiety of children with autism who can can get overwhelmed by the pre-flight experience.

Many children with autism are sensitive to big crowds, loud noises and in some cases, bright lights. This can pose a challenge for families to comfortably navigate the airport environment.

The program is designed to better prepare children with autism for what to expect at the airport.

“The Accessibility Tour is a truly unique resource for children with autism to familiarize themselves with the airport process,” CAN’s president and chief executive officer Katy Harandi said. “We are confident that the I CAN Fly program at YLW will open a new world of possibilities for families living with autism in the Kelowna community.”

The program also aims to educate airport employees and volunteers on how to accommodate individuals with autism and better anticipate challenging situations.

Families with autism that are interested in participating in the I CAN Fly Accessibility Tour at YLW can sign up here.

Participation is exclusive to CAN members. Families can sign up here for a CAN membership for $25 per individual with autism per year.

The Kelowna Airport Accessibility Tour will take place Sunday Nov.19.

 

 

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