Community Outreach: 1st Place

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ADM and its partners organized an event to help children with pervasive developmental disabilities (PDD) accompanied by a parent, become acquainted with various travel-related processes. Families were able to experience a simulated flight, from arrival at the airport, check in, security, and boarding to taking their seats on a fully staffed aircraft that remained parked at the gate.

Entry Statement

Project Goals: 

Goals why
Travelling with children with developmental disabilities is both a growing reality and a difficulty for the parent. Inspired by “Wings for autism”, created 3 years ago at Logan International Airport, we wanted to see if we could successfully create an adapted program for Montréal-area families.

Goals what
Develop a pilot project to evaluate the potential, interest and success of such a program; if successful, create a yearly event.

Goals how
Create the event, set a date, solicit family participation through social and health organizations, organize partners to volunteer the services while maintaining the reality of the process (without actually flying).

Production: 

Working entirely with volunteers, we successfully created an overcapacity event that took place on Sunday, October 20th. We gathered and organized 30 ADM volunteers, 7 check-in agents, a full Air Transat crew of 9 flight attendants, 1 pilot and 5 lanes of dedicated operation at security check points. We successfully welcomed 120 participants. Invitations were created in-house.

Evaluation: 

As a first attempt, we had hoped to succeed in attracting 125 participants however, we received 270 applicants! We overachieved our goal! So in early November 2013, following the event, we announced an annual program to take place in April 2014. We will double the number of aircraft to accommodate the expected number. We surveyed participants: 100% said they were more than satisfied with the activity and that they would recommend maintaining the program!

Budget: 

Volunteers: 51
Total in-house hours planning, organizing and implementing the activity: 300
Expenses: $2000 for hats, t-shirts and goodies