When the MTA launches its second year of station announcements by New York children with autism, subway riders will hear young voices welcome them to the system this month.
To promote greater acceptance of autistic New Yorkers and to make them feel comfortable on public transportation, they will perform throughout April in observance of Autism Awareness Month.
On Monday morning, an announcement debuted at the Fulton St. Station. “My name is Aydan, and because I adore trains, the MTA has permitted me to make a statement in honor of Autism Awareness Month.”
Aydan Lyazidi, age five, who was seated with a dozen other children in New York who had autism, smiled widely at the sound of his voice.
The child was “very delighted” to participate, according to his mother, Luliana Preotu.
Twenty-five thousand six hundred fifty-six of the approximately 830,000 pupils in public schools in New York City get special education services or assistance for autism.
14% of the students in the city with individualized education plans are on the autism spectrum.
Aydan and 22 other people make announcements to straphangers, reminding them to give up their seats to elderly or disabled passengers and stay away from the platform’s edge until a train has arrived.
Many of the biggest venues on the system will play the messages.
The Autism Transport Announcement Project’s founder, Jonathan Trichter, emphasized the significance of the subway system for children with autism.
The Autism Transit Announcement Project was started in New York last year and has since been added to the transit systems in San Francisco, Atlanta, and New Jersey.