Farmer Bob’s World at McKellar Family Farms becomes the newest autism-certified location in Visalia by earning the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation. The CAC certification is awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to organizations that have met requirements and completed a staff training program to better understand and assist autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors.
“It was important to the Farmer Bob’s World team to work with IBCCES and take the necessary steps to become a Certified Autism Center to provide the best services possible to the autistic members of our community. Becoming certified with IBCCES is the next step to accommodating all guests, including autistic individuals,” shared Deanna Saldana and Bob McKellar, the leadership team of Farmer Bob’s World. “Farmer Bob’s World is a fun and relaxing location where people can enjoy nature and learn about healthy eating and food production. It’s important that our location is as inclusive as possible and provides a pleasant experience for anyone joining us on the farm.”
California’s Central Valley grows foods that feed many around the world. Farmer Bob’s World’s mission is to help build awareness for guests about where their food comes from and provide a day-in-the-life farm experience. Farmer Bob’s World is a non-profit with a 100-acre citrus orchard for guests to learn about oranges and how they are grown. And now, Farmer Bob’s also offers a designated quiet area where guests can go if feeling overstimulated and fidget toys to help relieve stress.
Farmer Bob’s World joins Visit Visalia‘s initiative to become a Certified Autism Destination (CAD), which means that visitors and the community alike have a variety of trained and certified entertainment and lodging options in the area. Together with other autism-certified options in Visalia, such as Tulare County Museum, Valley Oak Golf Course, Hampton Inn Visalia, Downtown Visalians, ImagineU Children’s Museum, Comfort Inn Visalia, Lamp Liter Inn, Arts Visalia Gallery, and Wyndham Visalia, are part of Visit Visalia’s ongoing commitment to achieve the CAD designation.
“More and more autistic individuals and their families are looking for more travel options that understand their needs and make them feel welcomed. IBCCES’ mission is to offer certification programs that help enhance the guest experience and assist destinations, like Visalia in becoming more inclusive,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. IBCCES is excited to see more destinations are taking the initiative and implementing strategic initiatives, such as ours and supporting the community by bringing in travel and entertainment groups like Farmer Bob’s World who strive for excellence and want to provide an inclusive experience for everyone.”
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 has created programs specifically for hospitality and recreational organizations such as hotels, theme parks, and other attractions so staff would be more knowledgeable, and other accommodations could be 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, as a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.
About Farmer Bob’s World
Farmer Bob’s World is an Agricultural Education facility on a 100-year-old citrus farm. By offering wagon tours of the farm, we educate guests on growing oranges, the different varieties, pest and disease control, maintenance, picking and packing and much more. Reconnecting people to agriculture gives them insight into where their food comes from, and the dedication required to get an orange from the tree to the table.
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.