About Wings for Autism®

Wings for Autism®, one of The Arc’s newest national initiatives, is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families and aviation professionals. Originated by the Charles River Center, a local chapter of The Arc, Wings for Autism® is designed to alleviate some of the stress that families who have a child with autism experience when traveling by air. The program provides families with the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtain boarding passes, go through security and board a plane. Wings for Autism® also gives airport, airline, Transportation Security Administration professionals and other personnel the opportunity to observe, interact and deliver their services in a structured, learning environment. This experience is equally useful for families that have a member with other intellectual or developmental disabilities that are concerned about the ability of their family member to travel.

National expansion of Wings for Autism® is being administered by The Arc of the United States and in the future will be available for implementation at airports throughout the country. This Wings for Autism® video provides a glimpse of a recent Wings for Autism® event.

The success of a Wings for Autism® event is due to our well-tested coordinator guide and technical assistance by staff members from The Arc. In addition to Chapter(s) of The Arc, several local partners are involved in the event (airport, airline and TSA personnel). Together, these partners form the Wings team and work collaboratively to design and carry out the event.

The Arc’s Wings for Autism® is sponsored in part by The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. The goal of the Flutie Foundation is to help families affected by autism to live life to the fullest. Through programs and partnerships the foundation helps people with autism get access to care; lead more active lifestyles; and grow toward adult independence. Learn more about the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation, Inc.

For additional information please contact:
Phuong Nguyen
Direct: 202.600.3483
Email: nguyen@thearc.org

In addition to The Arc's work with Wings for Autism®, we are involved in several additional initiatives which may be of interest to you.

Wings for Autism® was created by Charles River Center, an affiliated chapter of The Arc, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Port Authority. For additional information about bringing Wings to an airport near you, please email wingsforautism@thearc.org.