Victoria International Airport increases accessibility with autism resource kit

May 16, 2023

Photo: Canuks Autism Network

Anxiety reduction kit launched during an Autism Aviation Day event at YYJ

The Victoria International Airport is increasing accessibility with the launch of an autism resource kit. The kit features noise-cancelling headphones and sensory items to help reduce anxiety. All travellers will be able to access the kit before any flight leaving the airport.

The airport teamed up with the Canucks Autism Network to develop the kit, which was launched along with an Autism Aviation Day event on April 29. The Air Canada Foundation and the airport welcomed more than 50 individuals from the network community for Autism Aviation Day. The event gave kids and teens on the autism spectrum and their families an opportunity to rehearse the pre-flight process.

“Victoria International Airport was very pleased to be part of YYJ Autism Day along with the Air Canada Foundation and Canucks Autism Network,” said Rod Hunchak, director of business development and community relations for the Victoria Airport Authority.

“Hosting this tour for individuals on the spectrum and their families to practise the airport experience and working with Canucks Autism Network has been a very gratifying educational experience for us. We are committed to continuing our work at the airport to identify and remove barriers for persons with disabilities and make travel accessible for all.”

The practice run included checking in, going through security, and boarding an aircraft.

“Our vision is for every individual on the autism spectrum to be understood, accepted and supported in all community spaces,” said Hallie Mitchell, Canucks Autism Network’s director of training and community engagement. “We are thrilled to partner with YYJ and the Air Canada Foundation to open up a world of travel opportunities for the autism community.”

(Source: Campbell River Mirror, Brendan Mayer)


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