The hustle and bustle of a major airport can sometimes be overwhelming for anyone, let alone those with cognitive special needs.
Toronto’s Pearson airport recognized that a busy environment does not suit every kind of person’s pace, so they partnered with MagnusCards to offer digital how-to guides for people with Autism and other complex disorders. The guides are offered in the form of apps, called Card Decks, and they give a personal step-by-step guide for travellers who may find the airport environment overwhelming or uncomfortable.
The introductory set of 10 Card Decks at Pearson will also help the users and caregivers understand how to better navigate community environments with independence. The Toronto airport is the first ever to partner with MagnusCards.
The guides go over basic airport processes including checking in for flights, going through security screening and more. Each Card Deck includes a photo, audio and a description of steps involved in that particular process. Pearson wants to do their best to ensure all of their customers feel safe and comfortable in their environment.
“Toronto Pearson will become the first airport to participate in the program, setting ourselves apart as leaders in accessibility and demonstrating our commitment to creating a universal experience for all passengers,” said Scott Collier, VP of customer and terminal services at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “We are responding to our passengers who are looking for ways to efficiently navigate Toronto Pearson while travelling with family members with cognitive special needs.”
Magnusmode is the Waterloo-based company that created MagnusCards and they have partnered with several large organizations in Canada so far. In mid-2016 the company released Card Decks for the Royal Ontario Museum, and they have also worked with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment as well as CIBC. Magnusmode’s app is free to download.
“I created MagnusCards to help people like my brother, who has autism, to do the things he wants to do and go the places he needs to go with greater ease and comfort,” said Nadia Hamilton, founder of Magnusmode.
Hamilton was one of five recipients last year of Radical Generosity’s grassroots funding campaign for female entrepreneurs.
Over 44 million people use Toronto Pearson airport every year, and it is the second busiest airport in North America.