SOUTH BEND — On Saturday, April 29, at 5:30 p.m., families will participate in the Wings for All® program at South Bend International Airport (SBN) in partnership with Delta Air Lines, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), The Arc, and ADEC. The free event gives families of children with disabilities the chance to participate in a “rehearsal” flight to overcome anxiety associated with the challenges of flying.
The event will take families through the process of checking luggage, clearing security, and boarding an airplane.
“This is just one way that ADEC is able to walk side-by-side with families to help them navigate life with special needs,” said Michelle McGuin, vice president of family and employment services at ADEC. “We want to take the scare out of the air for them.”
Following the “rehearsal”, there will be a reception in the airport’s atrium for participating families.
“It is exciting to see families replace their fears of flying with excitement,” said Julie Curtis, SBN’s director of marketing and development. “Flying from SBN is much more convenient than large airports. Our goal is to provide an experience that helps families learn and to travel with ease in the future.”
Wings for All® was founded in 2011 by the Charles River Center chapter of the Arc, an advocacy organization for people with disabilities. The program, managed by The Arc, has since been replicated in major metropolitan cities around the country. South Bend International Airport was the first in Indiana to host a Wings program last year.