Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find choosing travel and vacation options a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns. To address this need, Courtyard Phoenix Mesa has earned the designation of Certified Autism Center (CAC), awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The certification means that the hotel is committed to serving guests with autism and sensory needs and have completed training to ensure guests can enjoy the best possible experience.
The Courtyard Phoenix Mesa also joins a growing number of organizations that are becoming certified in Arizona, a movement inspired by the work of the Visit Mesa organization and that community’s goal to become the most autism inclusive in the world.
“Courtyard Phoenix Mesa is excited to be part of Visit Mesa’s initiative to become the country’s first-ever autism certified destination. Putting people first is part of the Marriott culture and ensuring that our associates are equipped with training to better serve our guests with autism is a wonderful opportunity,” said Patricia Gaukel, general manager of the hotel. “We look forward to enhancing the travel experience of the autism community.”
Located just minutes from the Phoenix airport, the hotel is also near the Mesa Convention Center, as well as the Major League Baseball spring training action at the Chicago Cubs’ Hohokam Park. Families can visit the Mesa Arts Center or the Arizona Museum of Natural History.
For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children who have special needs have limited travel options. In response to this need, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry. While many destinations tout “autism-friendly” options, this phrase does not necessarily indicate a true understanding of families’ requirements. More parents are seeking out destinations that have completed research-based training and professional review as they search for options.