(October 15, 2014) -- Autism Speaks was excited to partner with JetBlue Airways to host three Blue Horizons events this week in Sacramento, San Diego and Santiago, Dominican Republic!
Blue Horizons for Autism provides families in the autism community with the opportunity to practice the full air travel experience in a realistic and fun setting. All three events were a huge success!
Santiago, Dominican Republic
On Tuesday, October 14, four Autism Speaks staff members and a volunteer traveled to Santiago, Dominican Republic. On Tuesday, Stephanie de Leon, our Spanish-speaking Autism Response Team Senior Coordinator, held a training for over 60 families affected by autism where she provided lots of information and answered the many questions they had. We distributed copies of all of our Spanish resources to each of the families.
On Wednesday, we were so excited to partner with JetBlue and Fundación Luz y Esperanza por el Autismo to provide 100 families with the opportunity to walk through the full airport experience, from check-in, through immigration and security to boarding after waiting at the gate. The plane then taxied around the runway and passengers deboarded for a fun-filled after party with a jumping castle, lots of games, food and much more! Stephanie trained the 40+ volunteers from the airport, airline and TSA who donated their time to support these families.
The families in Santiago were extremely grateful for the experience and all of the information and services provided, as many of them struggle with the very limited services in their country. We were thrilled to be a part of this special opportunity for families in the Santiago autism community!
On Wednesday, October 15, we hosted a Blue Horizons for Autism event at Sacramento International Airport for 150 people in the local autism community. After Autism Speaks staff member Marianne Sullivan provided information about autism to the JetBlue staff members, TSA workers and additional volunteers, the families arrived excited for the big event. With the help of professionals from the MIND Institute, the families were supported throughout the full experience and celebrate their accomplishments with a fun party!
San Diego, California
On Saturday, October 11, we partnered with the Autism Tree Project Foundation to host 150 people at San Diego International Airport. See the pictures below of the exciting day!