Autism Action Partnership (AAP) has become a Certified Autism Center™ , making it one of only two organizations in the state of Nebraska to attain that designation. The CAC designation is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).
AAP is a public not-for-profit foundation founded by Gail Werner-Robertson and Scott Robertson. The foundation has been working to create and fund programs that fill critical gaps in Nebraska autism services since 2008. Pursuing this level of professional training and certification aligns with the Mission Statement of AAP, “To improve the quality of life of persons on the autism spectrum and their families through education, advocacy and support, thereby enabling them to be an integral part of the community.
AAP’s diverse programming provides critical services to: students needing to improve their social skills (Circle of Friends), adults securing permanent employment (PACE), families seeking enrichment opportunities (Making Memories), professionals wanting to promote the safety of those with autism (BE SAFE, Project Lifesaver), and businesses and community venues looking to be more inclusive. The certification process involved concerted professional development to ensure a level of expertise for all staff, in providing the above services. Four AAP employees now carry credentials as Certified Autism Specialists, and one holds an Autism Certificate.
“Autism continues to become more and more prevalent in our society, with 1 in 59 children (CDC 2018) being diagnosed. As such, it is critical for communities to advance their understanding of autism and create more inclusive practices and environments. Locally, AAP has seen an increase in the number of businesses and community members seeking education about autism and guidance on how to become more ‘sensory-friendly’. In response, AAP determined that all staff should maintain an expertise in these matters and that this expertise should be measured and verified by an external authority”, said –Justin Dougherty, AAP Executive Director. “IBCCES was the obvious choice for both their in-depth training programs and worldwide recognition. We are extremely proud to have earned this certification and are confident that our collective expertise was advanced through this process.”
For almost 20 years IBCCESS has provided training and certification for education, healthcare, travel, law enforcement, and corporate professionals worldwide who aim to provide quality care to those with special needs. IBCCES is the only training and certification program endorsed by Autism Society and focuses on working with industry leaders to ensure professionals who work with individuals on the spectrum are trained and certified in autism and other cognitive disorders.
“The continued growth of our partnerships with public not-for-profits like Autism Action Partnership (AAP) is a positive sign for the communities served by these organizations,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “We are excited AAP has taken the necessary steps to achieve the CAC designation and are proud of the work that they do.”