BCPS in the News

Third Annual Autism in Flight Takes Place, May 20, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015
– Excellent Feature Story and Photo Opportunity –
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is proud to once again partner with JetBlue
Airways, a leading carrier in Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ,to host the third annual Autism in Flight event. Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from five Broward County elementary schools will have the opportunity to practice the travel experience in a realistic, yet relaxed setting, ultimately allowing families and children to be better prepared for future travel.
                       Participating schools include:  Coconut Palm Elementary School, Dania Beach Elementary School, Everglades Elementary School, Park Springs Elementary School and Silver Lakes Elementary School. 
From check-in at the ticket counter to walking through security, approximately 50 students with autism will have the opportunity to navigate the airport experience firsthand in an effort to help reduce stress on an actual flight.
The Autism in Flight event will include:
  • Trained JetBlue crewmembers providing assistance throughout the process, which will include check- in, walking through security and boarding the plane at the gate.
  • Behavioral consultants from BCPS volunteering throughout the day to assist students with any issues that might arise.
  • The use of a stationary JetBlue aircraft for families to practice the boarding process, allowing students to experience sitting on a plane, as well as fastening a seatbelt and being served by inflight crewmembers.
  • Pilots and flight attendants onboard to simulate the true onboard experience.
  • The opportunity to meet and interact with the pilots and inflight crewmembers.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
  • 11 a.m. –  Students and families arrive
  • 11:30 a.m. –  Opening remarks
  • Noon  – Check-in and Ticketing (at a JetBlue Gate)
  • 2 p.m. – Announcements in the Gate Area and Boarding
  • 3 p.m. – Wrap up
JetBlue, Terminal 3 – Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (will meet in the Baggage area, Carousel 8) *Media must RSVP to Tamara Young to obtain a gate pass.
Taking a family vacation with a child with autism can be stressful, and for many families, it is often an impossible dream. Autism in Flight is part of JetBlue’s ongoing Blue Horizons for Autism platform. Blue Horizons for Autism provides families and individuals affected by autism with the opportunity to navigate the air travel experience in a realistic, relaxed environment, surrounded by other families in the autism community.

Air travel can be challenging for individuals affected by autism due to symptoms associated with the disorder, including hypersensitivity to large crowds, loud noises and communication difficulties. As a result, many families do not fly due to the fear of the response it could elicit from their children with autism, and subsequently fellow travelers and airline crewmembers. JetBlue offers autism programs throughout its 85-city network
JetBlue airlines, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration were recognized as the BCPS 2015 District-Level Partnership of the Year Award recipients for their support of the Autism in Flight program.
  • Families practicing the travel experience, going through TSA security
  • Families participating in the boarding process
  • Trained JetBlue crewmembers and Behavior Specialists from Broward County Public Schools providing assistance throughout the process
  • Stationary JetBlue aircraft as families practice the boarding process
Broward County Public Schools
Tracy Clark, 754-321-2616, tracy.clark@browardschools.com
JetBlue Airways         
Tamara Young, 718-709-3537 (o), 347- 229-8601 (c), Tamara.Young@JetBlue.com       
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Gregory Meyer, 954-359-6116 (o), 954-336-2847 (c), GMeyer@broward.org
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 238 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 99 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 135 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit browardschools.com, follow us on Twitter @Browardschools, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 32 million customers a year to 88 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 880 daily flights. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.
Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport, the preferred domestic airport in South Florida, ranks 21st in the U.S. in terms of total passenger traffic. With over 700 flights a day, FLL offers non-stop service to 100 U.S. cities and international destinations to Canada, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin American, Scandinavia and Europe. In 2014, FLL served 24.6 million passengers.