First Resort in Florida to Earn the Designation
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is the latest destination to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC) to help ensure guests and families with children who have autism have the best possible experience.
The resort implemented a training and certification program provided by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to ensure staff are trained to work with individuals on the spectrum and to share the resort’s commitment to ensuring all guests are accommodated. For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES created programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry since parents with children on the autism spectrum often find vacationing to be a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions, and safety concerns.
“All of us at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa are committed to creating brilliant experiences to each and every one of our guests every day. Being a resort, this may include families or individuals with autism or sensory needs. We are excited to partner with IBCCES to become certified and obtain the resources to assist with guests in this space and ensure they have a memorable experience,” said Michelle Criswell, Director of Human Resources at Sawgrass Marriott.
While research shows that travel is one of the most intellectually stimulating events for individuals on the spectrum, there are still few trained and certified travel options for parents looking for destinations able to accommodate their needs. There are a growing number of organizations that offer “autism-friendly” options; however, this term does not necessarily indicate an understanding of families’ requirements or demonstrate a standard level of training. More parents are now seeking out destinations that have completed research-based training and professional review.
“We’re excited to partner with another great destination that is truly committing to serving those on the spectrum. We want to create safe, sensory-compatible travel options for parents and individuals, so they can visit the leading destinations across the globe and have peace of mind,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Our Certified Autism Center designation is awarded to premier organizations who have completed rigorous training and meet the highest industry standards.”
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center requirements, which include extensive staff training and an on-site audit conducted by leading autism experts.
About Sawgrass Marriot Golf Resort & Spa
Located in Ponte Vedra Beach, midway between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Florida, our resort offers something for everyone. From a pristine and private beach to world class golf and spa, Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa is the perfect getaway for both business and pleasure. We offer a wide array of spacious rooms and villas with special touches and plenty of space. Families and couples can take advantage of our multiple pools, SurfStream wave pool, beach activities, spa, fitness center and 6 restaurants and lounges. Hop on our complimentary shuttle for a quick ride over to our private beach club, where you’ll find stunning Ponte Vedra beach. If work brings you here, you’ll be delighted with our expansive indoor and outdoor venues, as we offer over 60,000 square feet of versatile function space. Whether joining us for vacation, business, or a little of both, we look forward to welcoming you to our resort.
Delivering The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders. As part of our commitment to sharing the latest innovations and research, IBCCEs also hosts the International Symposium on Cognitive Research and Disorders to create a forum for collaboration among industry stakeholders.