The Billings Depot is now a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC), a designation awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to organizations that complete training and certification to better understand and welcome autistic or sensory-sensitive visitors.
“As a Certified Autism Center™, our organization now has the tools, training, and education to embrace and encourage the wonderful differences we all have at a much greater level,” shared Michelle Williams, Executive Director of Billing Depot. “Whether someone is attending a wedding, business meeting, or community event, we want to enhance the lives of everyone who visits our historic campus.”
Completing the CAC program is a step taken by Billings Depot to be part of a larger community initiative to achieve the Certified Autism Destination (CAD) designation. Visit Billings and other partners in the area, including Boothill Inn& Suites, are working together to earn the CAD to attract more visitors to Billings and provide a variety of trained and certified lodging, recreation, and entertainment options in the area.
“There are millions of travelers and their families who are autistic and looking for locations where they will feel welcomed and understood. Completing our certification programs, enhancing the guest experience, and providing options for these travelers will help put Billings on the map as a more inclusive destination for all. IBCCES is excited to see more destinations working toward strategic programs and supports, such as ours, to meet these needs,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman.
The Depot can now provide several services for autistic or sensory-sensitive guests such as special parking, low-sensory quiet rooms, a commercial kitchen to store special meals and trained staff who can assist with advanced planning and onsite coordination for events.
For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES created programs specifically for the hospitality and recreational organizations such as hotels, theme parks, and other attractions so staff would be more knowledgeable and other accommodations offered to this growing, but underserved, part of the community. IBCCES is the only credentialing board offering these types of programs, which include training from subject matter experts and autistic self-advocates, as well as long-term support and continuous learning, onsite reviews, and more. 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 the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.
About Billings Depot
The Billings Depot is an award-winning event center, located in the heart of our walkable Downtown Billings. Built in 1909, this historic train station has played host to presidents, historic figures, dignitaries and even Hollywood movie stars. Today, the Billings Depot continues to host some of the most memorable and import events in our city.
Learn More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™
Fill out the form below to learn more about our CAC Program, which includes staff certifications, training options and center certification.