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More than 400 students with autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy recently had a chance to fly without ever leaving the ground. The Delta team in Peru created a simulated flight experience to let students test out air travel while in a comfortable setting. 

Flight attendant shows students what flying is likeThe event, hosted for students at the Ann Sullivan Center for children with "different abilities" in Lima, Peru, was led by a group of Delta executives and employees who are committed to Delta's vision of working globally on diversity and inclusion. 

The simulated flight was part of an annual training at the Center in October, where Delta employees had the opportunity to learn from the students and better understand their needs. 

The training included activities that let participants to put themselves in the place of the students, while rec​​​eiving guidance from the Center's instructors on how to care for these future flyers.

"We recognize that to truly enrich our customers' flight experience, we must focus on providing our wide customer base with aptly trained personnel capable of catering to everyone's needs, including people with cognitive disorders and hearing and visual impairments," said Delia Ortega, Sales Manager – Peru. "This unique, expert-led training ensures Delta employees are equipped to satisfy all our customers' demands and handle all situations, while fostering an inclusive and diverse environment."

​During the simulated flight, participants checked-in, went through airport security, entered the lounge and boarded. Volunteers from local Sales, In-Flight Service, Airport Customer Service, Cargo and Catering also participated. 

"Witnessing large companies such as Delta continuously work toward achieving a diverse environment for all people is truly inspiring, especially after actively seeking improvement after each activity," said Liliana Mayo, Director and Founder of the Ann Sullivan Center. "This experience helps our students enjoy a carefree air plane trip, as they become more independent."

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