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“Dress rehearsal” to take a flight to LVIA

“Dress rehearsal” to take a flight to LVIA


HANOVER TWP., LEHIGH COUNTY, PA. Lehigh Valley International Airport will hold a dress rehearsal for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, providing a low-pressure workout for catching a flight, officials announced Tuesday.

The program, called Wings for All, last came to LVIA more than five years ago through The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties, a local chapter of the national advocacy group for people with developmental disabilities or developmental like autism.

Most of the examples we see are people discovering, “Oh, it really wasn't as hard as we thought.” It seems manageable and we have enough support here.'”

Tom Stoudt, executive director of the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority

Once common before the COVID-19 pandemic, the program will return to LVIA on June 15. To register :

Over the years at these events, we have had a number of examples of families who were unsure whether a member of their family would be able to fly, said Tom Stoudt, executive director of the authority. Lehigh Northampton Airport.

A try “

Wings for All offers families a low-stakes trial to find out if air travel will work for them, Stoudt said.

Most of the examples we see are people discovering, “Oh, it really wasn't as hard as we thought.” It seems manageable and we have enough support here, he said.

At the same time, airport staff receive hands-on training to help people with disabilities navigate the LVIA.

For families who thought they would never be able to travel by plane, this event gives hope. The rehearsal takes place within their own community and makes air travel a real possibility for them.

Arc Executive Director Karen Shoemaker in a statement.

Attendees will check in at the counter, go through the TSA security checkpoint, board a Delta Airlines plane and disembark for a reception, according to a release from the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority.

They will also visit the airport's sensory room, designed to provide an escape from airport sensory overload for people who need it.

For families who thought they would never be able to travel by plane, this event offers hope,” wrote Karen Shoemaker, executive director of the Arc, in a statement.

“The rehearsal takes place within their own community and makes air travel a real possibility for them.

Colin Riccobon, LNAA community relations director, said the airport hopes to once again make Wings for Hope a regular event at the Lehigh Valley Airport, giving participants the chance to gradually become familiar with the passage by LVIA and airports in general over time.




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