FBC teacher goes above and beyond to prepare 3-year-old for his first plane ride


Visually impaired children often rely on the comfort of routines. Unpredictable environments and new sounds can be startling and over stimulating. One FBC student, 3-year-old Abel, sticks to his routine more than most.

The blind preschooler attends FBC’s West Valley location. Abel completes his daily routine of circle time, snack time, lunch time, centers time, rest time and movement time alongside his classmates and Teacher of the Visually Impaired Kelly Wilson.

Not long ago, Abel’s mom Tara asked Kelly to help Abel practice comfort in change and wearing a face mask in preparation for a family trip. Abel’s family was planning a trip out of state and nervous about not only Abel’s first flight but airlines’ COVID precautions.

FBC preschooler sits in carry on baggage sizing toolTVI Kelly didn’t just listen to Tara’s concerns, she created a solution. Kelly suggested a field trip to Mesa Gateway Airport so Abel could familiarize himself with the airport. “I was very thankful Kelly went above what I could have ever imagined to help with my concerns regarding Abel”, says Tara.

A few weeks later, together Kelly, Abel and his family toured Mesa Gateway Airport. “We got to experience the noises of the airport, meet with staff and even see protocols regarding special needs,” says Tara. “I wanted to give Abel’s family peace of mind”, added Kelly.

The field trip was an overwhelming success. Abel found comfort in playing with his favorite toys outside the airport and loved testing if he would fit in the plane’s overhead storage as carry-on baggage pictured in the photo to the right. Now, Abel is ready for his first plane ride.

The Foundation for Blind Children’s dedicated team of Teachers of the Visually Impaired like Kelly go above and beyond to serve their students and families every day. Your support prepares other blind or visually impaired children like Abel to take on every new experience life gives with confidence. Thank you.