Edinburgh Airport recognised for autism-friendly initiatives

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport, being presented the Autism Friendly Award by Jenny Paterson, Director of the National Autistic Society Scotland, and Ryan Gibbons (7), who suffers from autism and uses the service regularly.

Edinburgh Airport has become the first airport in Scotland to achieve an Autism Friendly Award, recognising its efforts to create an accessible and supportive environment for autistic passengers.

The award highlights the assistance measures put in place at the airport to improve the experience for people on the autism spectrum, as well as their families or carers.

Edinburgh Airport has introduced a number of measures to ease the airport experience for passengers including:

  • Additional training for staff to help passengers with additional needs
  • An Edinburgh Airport-specific Social Story to help children prepare for the journey
  • A pre-visit to the airport to familiarise with the sights and sounds of the airport environment
  • Discreet lanyard and pin badges to identify those with hidden disabilities so staff are aware of the need for additional support
  • Providing children’s books to children who haven’t travelled before, or who need something extra to help them prepare

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport, says: “Airports can be extremely busy places and that can be quite daunting for people with additional needs, especially if they rely on a routine which a place like an airport can upset.

“We’ve looked at that and considered where we could make simple but effective changes to make the journey through Edinburgh Airport as easy as possible for those with autism and other additional needs.

“Our staff and partners have worked together to provide this service and this award is a clear indication of our commitment to make Edinburgh as accessible as possible for the 13 million passengers who use the airport every year.”

Jenny Paterson, Director of the National Autistic Society Scotland, adds: “I am very impressed by the comprehensive approach the team at Edinburgh Airport has taken to improving the access for autistic passengers.

“Visiting the airport can be a very stressful, and sometimes daunting experience for autistic people and their families – these changes will make a huge difference to their experience.

“The airport is very deserving of our Autism Friendly Award and has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring autistic visitors are supported and know what to expect when they transit though Scotland’s busiest airport.”

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