Valleyfair Amusement Park has earned the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, which is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and demonstrates Valleyfair’s dedication to providing a supportive environment for guests with autism and other sensory disorders.
To receive the CAC designation, Valleyfair staff completed sensory disorder training to learn how to better communicate and engage with guests with sensory needs and their family members, as well as safety concerns and protocols. The park also received a certification review provided by IBCCES.
“Valleyfair is proud to have achieved full accreditation in becoming a Certified Autism Center™,” said Raul Rehnborg, Valleyfair’s General Manager. “This certification is confirmation of our continued commitment to promote inclusivity and equal access at our park. We want all guests to enjoy a great day at Valleyfair and to create lifelong memories with family and friends.”
In addition to the CAC designation, the park offers accommodations such as their sensory and quiet room, boarding pass program, quiet outdoor spaces, complimentary sensory packs, sensory friendly entertainment at PEANUTS™ Showplace, a Family Care Center and gluten-free food options for guests of varying needs and sensitivities.
Valleyfair has also designed an annual specialized park-wide program, typically in the month of July, for guests with autism and other sensory disorders called “Autism Awareness Week.” During this week, a portion of the ticket proceeds are donated to the Autism Society of America (ASA).
“The team at Valleyfair is clear in their mission to provide all visitors a safe and welcoming environment to make amazing family memories. The completion of this process is great news for families in Minnesota and across the country as the need for this type of accommodation continues to grow rapidly,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.
As a leader in healthcare, corporate, and education certification for 20 years, IBCCES recognized the need for more trained and certified travel and entertainment options. In response to feedback from families and individuals with sensory needs, IBCCES adapted its evidence-based programs specifically for amusement parks, zoos, resorts, aquariums, and other family entertainment venues.
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.