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Wings for All®

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Wings for All® is an innovative program that allows individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to experience boarding a plane so they can become comfortable and familiar with the process. Those with IDD can be very sensitive to external stimuli and unfamiliar situations. The beeping of a metal detector, stress of being surrounded by strangers, and the noise of a plane taking off can be overwhelming, and as a result, many families forgo much-needed travel.

During a Wings for All® event, families are invited to complete the boarding process at a participating airport so that individuals with IDD can experience the sights and sounds in a more controlled environment. By introducing this experience before a person with IDD actually boards a plane to go on a trip, families are more equipped to navigate this potentially overwhelming event. Wings for All® is held at local airports thanks to their collaboration with The Arc, participating airlines, TSA agents, flight attendants, and pilots.

Upcoming Wings Events!

You'll find information about future Wings events here.

Past Wings Events!

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Thank You for Making the Wings for All Event a Success!

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who participated in the Wings for All event at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) yesterday. This special program could not have been as successful without the collaboration and support from our partners at Delta Air Lines, Enterprise Rent a Car, and our hosts at CAE.

A very special thank you to Authentic ASL Interpreting, LLC, who provided essential services that ensured everyone could engage fully in the experience. Your dedication to accessibility and inclusion is truly appreciated.

The event was a fantastic opportunity for participants to navigate through the various phases of air travel in a supportive environment. From checking in to boarding and taxiing around the airport, participants got a real sense of what to expect when traveling by air. The smiles, excitement, and learning that happened yesterday were incredibly heartening to witness.

 

Participant Feedback

“Thank you for your patience today. We will definitely join again” — A. Torres

“Thank you to The Arc of South Carolina , Delta Air Lines and Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE)for doing the wings for all event! My daughter struggled a little bit with the waiting and the overwhelming part of the airplane. And she might not be 100% ready but she learned a lot about the airport and how to do things. She even decided that she didn’t want to be a police officer but now she wants to be a pilot and give out “cool air-o plane cards” to everyone too! Thank you to everyone and all the volunteers who made this possible for my little girl and for others with disabilities. And thank you to all the workers (including the therapy dogs) who helped calm her down in the middle of huge emotions and told me I was doing a wonderful job, y’all don’t know how much we both needed that! I might be biased, but I think I have the cutest pilot on my hands!” — S.L. Ingle

We also extend a heartfelt thank you to all our volunteers, without whom this event would not have been possible. Your enthusiasm and dedication created a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all our guests.

Please see highlights from the event and relive some of the wonderful moments in our gallery below.

If you have your own photos and experiences from the event that you'd like to share, please email them to us at thearc@arcsc.org. We love seeing and sharing your stories!

Once again, thank you to everyone involved — your participation and support ensure that we can continue making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Here’s to many more successful events in the future!

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