Shannon Airport, situated on the West Coast of Ireland, just added something remarkable to their range of services.
It has become the first European airport to open a specifically designed area for children and adults with neuro-developmental challenges. The facility opened on March 29th, in anticipation of World Autism Day, which takes place on April 2nd.
The theme of this year’s World Autism Day is “Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination“, something which travel can assist with in great measure.
Public places, especially busy ones, can present a range of challenges for people who are dealing with neuro-developmental conditions. The new room in Shannon will offer passengers a comfortable and relaxing environment for them to utilise while they wait for their flight.
The Clare Hearld reported that customers will now be able to request wristbands and caps which allow them to be identified and attended to with extra care and attention. This includes being given access to the sensory room.
“The development of the sensory room follows a previous international airport landmark initiative at Shannon when last year, management introduced a customer care programme for people with autism and special needs.
Designed by Adam & Friends, the specially designated room has been tailored to provide a soothing place away from the activity of a busy airport. Facilities include an aquatic bubble tube, an undulated wavy wall, colour changing LED’s, wheel projector and other items.”
“I’m both delighted and proud that an Irish airport, Shannon Airport, is the first to introduce a sensory room in Europe.” said Shannon Airport’s Director of Operations Niall Maloney, “The introduction last year of its hats and wristbands programme and the addition this year of the sensory room is our way of showing our support for our customers with autism and special needs. I would dearly love it if other airports around Ireland and the world participated in this.”
“It’s one thing for Shannon to put these provisions in place but if all other airports participated in this programme so that when the passenger arrives on the other side, they also get special treatment, then that would be a huge gift to people with special needs and their families.”