Four Points by Sheraton at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport is looking toward a future of inclusivity. Its staff recently completed a professional training and certification program through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), designating the space as a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC). Choosing travel options can be a challenge for individuals and families who have sensory needs or are on the autism spectrum. The CAC designation means that all guests can enjoy the best possible experience that caters to their needs.
Four Points by Sheraton at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport also joins a growing number of organizations 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.
“After meeting with our team, we all agreed that we wanted to become one of the first CAC hotels here in the valley in AZ, as it is important to us all to meet the needs of all of our guests. As several of us know of families who have had personal struggles while traveling with children with autism, we felt that it was important to educate ourselves on those needs to ensure that we can offer the best accommodations and services to those families,” said Shannen Desautelle, general manger. “We are all dedicated to continue to learn all that we can, to ensure that we can give those traveling families the confidence in our destination here at Four Points by Sheraton at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport.”
Four Points by Sheraton at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport is looking forward to a sense of renewal in 2020, as they refresh their outdoor space to be sensory friendly. Serene views of Toka Sticks Golf Club and a courtyard setting will serve as the backdrop for those moments where guests need a less stimulating environment.
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 research shows that travel is one of the most intellectually stimulating events for individuals on the autism spectrum, there are still few trained and certified travel options for parents looking for destinations able to accommodate their needs. Organizations like IBCCES and industry leaders such as Visit Mesa are working to change that.
“We continue to be excited by the growth in this area,” said IBCCES Board Chairman, Myron Pincomb. “The completion of our certification is the first step toward ensuring inclusiveness is part of every organization’s culture.”
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 (CAC) requirements.