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Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is the first airport in Canada to implement a program that provides an expedited airport process for families and individuals living with autism.
The new YVR Autism Access Sticker was developed as part of the I CAN Fly program, a collaboration between YVR and the Canucks Autism Network (CAN) that provides air travel resources to support individuals and families living with autism.
“One of our top priorities is providing an accessible airport for everyone, and it is through collaboration with partners like the Canucks Autism Network that we are able to identify new opportunities to make our airport as accessible as possible,” said Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.
“The launch of the YVR Autism Access Sticker brings us another step towards to our goal of removing barriers to air travel and creating a positive airport experience for everyone.”
The YVR Autism Access Sticker is a self-identification tool for individuals living with autism that can be placed on boarding passes. The sticker ensures an expedited airport process through screening and customs, and better communicates the specific needs of passengers to airport employees.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this important initiative that will help families living with autism navigate the often overwhelming airport experience,” said Katy Harandi, president and CEO, Canucks Autism Network.
“Our partnership with Vancouver International Airport allows families to become familiarized and desensitized to the whole travel process. The I CAN Fly program has opened up a world of possibilities for families living with autism and we are so grateful to YVR for making it happen.”
The launch of the YVR Autism Access Sticker coincides with the third annual YVR accessibility tour. The tour, which is hosted by YVR in partnership with Canucks Autism Network, Air Transat and Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) provides over 100 individuals and families living with autism the opportunity to experience the air travel process step-by-step to help decrease anxiety while travelling and experience flying in a positive way.
The partnership with the Canucks Autism Network is part of YVR’s community investment program, that in 2016 will contribute $1 million back into the community through donations and sponsorships in three focus areas; Accessibility, Community and Environment.