Arizona Disabled Sports, based in Mesa, Ariz., has earned the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The designation indicates that staff have received evidence-based training through IBCCES to enhance their understanding and mindfulness when working with individuals with autism or other cognitive disorders.
Arizona Disabled Sports joins more than 60 other organizations in and near Mesa that have completed training and certification through IBCCES and worked together to make Mesa the first Autism Certified City in the world.
“At Arizona Disabled Sports we are dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities through adaptive sports and recreation. This means ensuring our staff is properly trained in a variety of areas so that those with a disability can participate in activities they love despite the challenges they face. When we heard about Mesa becoming the first Autism Certified City in the country and that organizations could also receive certification, it was a no-brainer for us to pursue certification because of the population we serve,” said Rhonda Carlson, Executive Director of Arizona Disabled Sports. “We also wanted to join the many other businesses and organizations within Mesa that have received certification to truly show how important it is for all of us to continue to build an inclusive community. With certification, we have enhanced the resources we have available to serve individuals with autism and have better positioned ourselves as an organization that leaves no one sitting on the sidelines.”
Arizona Disabled Sports works to provide sports and recreation opportunities for individuals with all types of disabilities in and around Mesa. With the CAC certification and training, the staff can better assist athletes with sensory or cognitive needs.
For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for education, healthcare, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES provides evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with clinical experts and individuals with autism to provide professionals serving individuals with cognitive disorders a better understanding of what these disorders are, industry best practices, varied perspectives, and the latest research in these areas.
“IBCCES is honored to partner with the Arizona Disabled Sports, who is committed to serving all their athletes,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “This is another step closer to further build a truly inclusive community.”
IBCCES also created CertifiedAutismCenter.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.
Arizona Disabled Sports (AzDS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located at the Broadway Recreation Center in Mesa, Arizona. In partnership with the City of Mesa Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities and Mesa Public Schools, AzDS provides adaptive sports, recreation and social opportunities for individuals ages six and above with all types of disabilities. This can include but is not limited to developmental disabilities, orthopedic impairment, sensory deficit and or neurological involvement. Through participation, individuals will improve their physical, emotional and social health, feel empowered, improve their self-esteem and learn respect for themselves and others. Weekly adaptive sports programs include air rifle, aquatics, archery, basketball, bocce ball, bowling, cheerleading, cycling (short and long-distance), Dragon Boat, floor hockey, golf, hiking, kayaking, power soccer, rock climbing, soccer, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis. AzDS also facilitates several special events and competitions throughout the year, including the Desert Challenge Games – a multi-day, international competition for adaptive air pistol & rifle, archery, swimming and track and field – Pedal N’ Paddle Fest, West Coast Conference Bid Regional Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, Disneyland Adventure, Camp Carley and SkiAble Adaptive Alpine Experience. Qualified staff, coaches and volunteers understand the unique challenges people with disabilities often face when trying to participate in sports and recreation activities and are able to provide individualized instruction and support to ensure anyone with a desire to participate has the ability to do so. Living by its motto, “Let no one sit on the sidelines,” Arizona Disabled Sports believes all abilities should have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life through sports and recreation.
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 the only training and certification programs endorsed by the largest grassroots autism organization in the world, The Autism Society of America, and recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.
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