What is an Autism Certified City (ACC)?

ACC CityThe ACC designation is awarded by IBCCES to communities where key stakeholders, including healthcare, education, local government, hospitality, leisure, and corporate members, are trained and certified to better serve individuals with autism and other cognitive disorders. IBCCES is the only credentialing board working with communities to bring 20 years of industry knowledge and leadership so they become truly inclusive and accessible for all.

Learn More About Becoming an Autism Certified City

Fill out the form below to learn more about our ACC Program, which includes staff certifications, training options and community certification.

Community Stakeholders Work Together


Hotels, restaurants and other attractions will be more aware of how to better serve individuals and families with children on the autism spectrum, resulting in better customer service, improved guest experience, and ultimately, more visitors.


Teachers and other school personnel will be able to better identify and educate students with Autism and other learning disorders. Resulting in better educated students who give back to the community.


Physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals will be able to improve patient experience and outcomes, resulting in a more connected and healthier community.


Airlines, trains, buses, taxi services will be able to better accommodate individuals with autism and sensory sensitivities, which makes happier customers, increased revenue and more productive employees.


Law enforcement, first responder, park and recreation staff, and others will be better equipped to interact with individuals with autism and other sensory disorders in a positive way.


Theaters, family entertainment centers, museums, zoos, aquariums, theme parks, and entertainment venues will be able to better serve guests and help them customize their experience, allowing these organizations to attract and serve more families, as well as increase staff empowerment and morale.

Marc Garcia

“IBCCES is a first class organization and their team has done a great job of helping us get our visitor industry partners engaged. The whole community of Mesa, including the City of Mesa and the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, has rallied around the Autism Certification program, which has resulted in unprecedented media coverage and community pride. Of critical importance is the fact that IBCCES helps us meaningfully convey to our stakeholders that Autism Certification is more than the right thing to do. It’s good business.”

– Marc Garcia, President and CEO, Visit Mesa (the first Autism Certified City in the world)

Benefits of Certification

  1. Increase tourism revenue
  2. Improve quality of life for residents
  3. Attract skilled talent to local companies
  4. Increased community engagement
  5. Create a distinct inclusive brand nationally and internationally
  6. Increase quality of education resources
  7. Improve healthcare experience and outcomes
  8. Increase workforce readiness
  9. Create opportunity for funding and grants
  10. Increase revenue

Autism Travel Family

Sally headshot“The Autism Certification program has energized our Chamber Members and the overall response has been phenomenal. We have had everyone from very large multinational manufacturing companies to small coffee shops sign up to become certified and support the community Autism initiative.”

Sally Harrison President/CEO Mesa Chamber of Commerce

mayor giles“The City of Mesa is known as a community with high core values and a huge heart. Not only is the Mesa Autism Initiative the right thing to do for our community but it will also help raise our profile which will help us recruit visitors, new companies and bring new jobs to our residents.”

Mayor John Giles, City of Mesa

ROI: What’s the Impact?

400 FAMILIES on opening day Sesame Place

50% INCREASE in employee morale score Marriott (first month)

$200K GRANT for autism improvements Elmwood Park Zoo

GUEST SATISFACTION scores up 45% Aquatica (first 3 months)

BUSIEST media event of year Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

DOUBLED out-of-region guests Discovery Cove (first 3 months)

32% INCREASE in first-time guests Marriott (first 2 months)

6 BILLION web hits on autism page Sesame Place (year one)

Autism Travel Text Only Logo

Once you become an Autism Certified Destination you will be featured as a certified organization on CertifiedAutismCenter.com and AutismTravel.com, which have been developed by IBCCES as credible resources to help leading organizations across the globe showcase themselves as safe, sensory friendly, trained and certified option for parents and individuals on the spectrum.

As Seen On

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Learn More About Becoming an Autism Certified City