The fall season is bringing springtime sunflowers to Miami International Airport, now that MIA is one of 10 U.S. airports and 34 worldwide providing sunflower lanyards free of charge to travelers with hidden disabilities.
The lanyards, which act as a discreet indicator to airport employees that those passengers may need some extra time during the travel process, were unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 12 with community partners for MIA’s second multi-sensory room.
The new area in MIA’s South Terminal near Gate J3 provides young passengers with cognitive and developmental disabilities a calming place to relax during the travel experience. MIA’s other multi-sensory room is in its North Terminal, near Gate D31. The two new initiatives are part of the airport’s overall MyMIAccess program of services for travelers with disabilities.
“Our highest priority at MIA continues to be making the joy of air travel easily and safely accessible for all our passengers,” said Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO. “We are proud to now be one of a growing number of airports worldwide providing sunflower lanyards, and to add another multi-sensory room to our terminal. We look forward to continue working closely with our local advocacy partners, to make MIA even more accessible for all.”
The goal of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard global initiative is to raise awareness that some disabilities, such as autism, hearing loss, and PTSD, are not visible. Last month, MIA employees received customer service training about the lanyards and best practices for serving travelers with hidden disabilities.
Instructions about how to receive a lanyard and the other accessibility services are available at the MyMIAccess web page.