Shannon Airport opens special Sensory Room

Shannon Airport opens special Sensory Room

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Photo: Diarmuid Greene/True Media

The first specially designated room at a European airport, for children and adults with neuro-developmental challenges, has been opened at Shannon.

The new Sensory Room, off the airport’s departure lounge, will offer a relaxing environment for passengers ahead of their flight. Today’s official opening of the room came ahead of World Autism Day on April 2nd next.

Customers who need additional support can now avail of official caps and wristbands at Shannon to ensure that they are immediately identified by staff and receive the special treatment they deserve, including being now brought 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.

Shannon Airport opens Sensory Room and is first airport in Eur…

Shannon Airport opens Sensory Room and is first airport in Europe to do so.http://clareherald.com/2017/03/hannon-airport-opens-special-sensory-room-17322/

Posted by The Clare Herald on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Shannon Airport’s Director of Operations Niall Maloney has urged other Irish and international airports to follow the mid-west airport’s example and make such a service a standard.

“I’m both delighted and proud that an Irish airport, Shannon Airport, is the first to introduce a sensory room in Europe. 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,” Mr Maloney said.

“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,” he added.

Shannon Airport’s Director of Operations Niall Maloney has urged other Irish and international airports to follow the mid-west airport’s example and make such a service a standard.

“I’m both delighted and proud that an Irish airport, Shannon Airport, is the first to introduce a sensory room in Europe. 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,” Mr Maloney said.

“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,” he added.

Chairman Shannon Group Rose Hynes said: “We know that, for some of our families and individual passengers, air travel and moving through an airport environment whether it’s dealing with check in, security or boarding, can be a daunting experience.”

“Being the first airport in Europe to develop a sensory room – is in keeping with Shannon’s culture of willingness to do new things. The Autism programme is a natural extension of the Airport’s focus on customer care. We have already invested over €3 million in upgrades to our terminal building to improve the passenger experience and this work is continuing,” she concluded.

Among those who attended today’s event were RTE personality Marty Morrissey, Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes, Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas, board members and staff.

Details on the Airport’s assistance programme for passengers with autism and special needs are available at http://www.shannonairport.ie/gns/passengers/prepare/autismandspecialneeds.aspx 

ends

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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