According to the office of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, about 25.5 million Americans have a disability that may make it difficult for them to travel outside their homes. The Access for All program is a 65-page guide that gives people with disabilities a step-by-step view of navigating Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
“The Access for All program contains an in-depth guide for people with disabilities who are new to traveling or do not travel frequently. It covers everything from packing to arranging transportation and getting through the airport,” said Director of Access and Accessible Programs Saron McKee. “It contains relevant information that everyone needs to know, such as navigating ticketing and security, and information specific to people with disabilities, such as requesting reasonable accommodations, information about service animals, alternative security screening, and much more.
McKee continued, “In addition to the guide, the program includes easy-to-read short stories with pictures that simplify and guide people through going through security, which can be perceived as a complex process. In the disability community, stories like these enhance familiarity, skills, and knowledge.”
Disability types covered in this guide include wheelchair users, those with psychiatric or mental health impairments, blind or vision-impaired people, people on the autism spectrum, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Also included are unseen disabilities that are related to flying with medical conditions, such as bladder control issues, bronchial trouble, and other masked health issues.
PHL’s Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard program is a discreet way for someone to indicate that they have a disability may need additional help or more time. Lanyards are available for free at all information counters throughout the terminals.
“The program is important to a wide cross-section of people with disabilities. The guide is written so the reader can select the short story that is most relevant to their situation, or they can go through each one and enjoy them from beginning to end,” said McKee. “People can use this resource from home to pre-plan and prepare for their trip. Alternatively, they can use it while traveling to look up baggage information to get a feel for what to expect. The result is that more people with disabilities have equal access to the airport and enjoy flying.”
The guide features airline contact information, amenities, PHL Food & Shops, vending machines, and other resources. PHL hopes travelers with disabilities and caregivers will find the Access for All program helpful.
The Access for All program guide is available online. Travelers who wish to receive the guide in a different format can fill out the Contact Us section at the bottom of the webpage.