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  • D.A.T.S.M.O.M. Launches Autism Airport Training Program Partnership with Montgomery Regional Airport

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    Released: February 25, 2020
    Contact: news@flymgm.com

    (Montgomery, Alabama) – Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) blazed into 2020 with a clear plan to guide its operational excellence throughout the next five years. In December, the Montgomery Airport Authority officially adopted a new mission and vision for MGM, establishing seven strategic goals to drive growth.

    Montgomery, Ala.—Disability as an Ability Toward Success: Moms on the Move, also known as D.A.T.S.M.O.M., a 501(c)(3) organization, is proud to announce its newly formed partnership with the Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) to launch Spectrum Sky, an airport training program in March.

    With a focus on advocacy, D.A.T.S.M.O.M. provides free services, training and support for more than 150 Alabama families with children on the autism spectrum. Tametria Conner Dantzler, founder of D.A.T.S.M.O.M., created Spectrum Sky to help alleviate some of the stress people on the spectrum and their families experience traveling by air.

    “Air travel and navigating through an airport are some of the most overstimulating events for individuals diagnosed with autism. As a result, many families avoid these types of activities instead of using travel as an opportunity to advocate for their children,” Dantzler said. Montgomery Regional Airport’s Executive Airport Director, Marshall Taggart, Jr., said “We are pleased to form a lasting partnership with D.A.T.S.M.O.M. in serving a new demographic of travelers. The training experience is a great way to improve the staff’s disability competency and processes for accommodating all passengers who fly.” Children and their families will participate in an airport rehearsal, with demonstrations of security measures and in-flight safety protocols on a plane. While the plane will not takeoff, the goal is to create safe, sensory-compatible travel options.

    “We want the participants to practice in a structured environment. They will gain an understanding of what to expect, while learning how children react to different stimuli in the airport,” Dantzler said. MGM staff will receive training on best practices for interaction and assessing sensory needs during airport navigation and travel.

    “Disability accommodations are currently available, but this is our first time focusing on those in the autism community to gain awareness on how our airport can best serve them,” Taggart said. Montgomery Regional Airport’s Safety and Security Chief Mack McGill, along with TSA agents and airport staff will work collaboratively with D.A.T.S.M.O.M. to host two trainings from 9 until 11a.m. on Wednesday, March 4, and Saturday, March 28, 2020. Spectrum Sky is a part of the D.A.T.S.M.O.M. Alabama Autism Safety Initiative. For additional information about bringing Spectrum Sky to an airport near you, please email datsmom@yahoo.com.
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