Visually Impaired Student Introduction to Air Travel

This past Saturday was a big day for three SISD students with visual impairments and their O&M instructor. We woke at the crack of dawn to travel to the Lansing Airport, where we met up with other students and O&M instructors from around the state to participate in Michigan’s first group air travel lesson! Two of our three students had never been on a plane before, and the excitement was running high as we checked our suitcases and proceeded to security. 

Although the day held too many highlights to count, some noteworthy moments included navigating escalators, moving walkways, and a tram, experiencing the exhilaration of airplane take-off, and feeling the unique sensation of our stomach dropping with airplane turbulence (the highlight for almost all of the students!).

When I asked one of our young fliers how she felt after riding on her first airplane this past Saturday, she paused and then said, “I feel good and grateful. I’m grateful that we actually got to go on this plane trip.”

I think that staff and students alike can agree that we finished this lesson feeling “good and grateful”. The Michigan O&M group air travel lesson was an amazing opportunity to provide airport-specific O&M instruction to our students with VI, and for our students to gain the unique skills that will allow them to take to the skies more independently in their futures! It was also refreshing to connect with other students with VI and O&Mers from around the state. This trip was certainly the icing on the cake for 2021-2022 O&M instruction!

See you all next school year!

Rikilynn Layher, COMS/CVRT



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