The Visalia Fox Theatre is now a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC), a designation awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), and joins a growing movement initiated by Visit Visalia to attract more travelers to the destination. To meet CAC requirements, Theatre staff and volunteers completed training and certification to better assist and welcome autistic or sensory-sensitive visitors and their families.
“Currently, 1 out of every 44 children is diagnosed with autism. Working with the IBCCES program will allow the Visalia Fox Theatre the opportunity to better serve our community by being part of an autism-certified circle of businesses that provide a friendly and welcoming environment, with trained staff,” said Wilhelmina Santana, Executive Director, Visalia Fox Theatre.
In addition to the certification, the theater is also committed to presenting events and welcoming performances. They have also upgraded their services to offer accommodations such as reduced noise levels, dimmed lighting, and reduced waiting times on days they have sensory-friendly events. All events and performances will offer options for noise reduction, fidget devices, and quiet spaces in their lobby upon visitor request.
By completing the CAC program, the Visalia Fox Theatre joins the greater Visit Visalia movement to achieve the Certified Autism Destination (CAD) designation, which is also awarded by IBCCES to communities with a multitude of trained and certified lodging, recreation, and entertainment options. Currently, other organizations that have completed the CAC program include Visalia Adventure Park, Farmer Bob’s World, Imagine U Interactive Children’s Museum, Wyndham Visalia, Tulare County Museum, Visalia Marriott At The Convention Center, Valley Oak Golf Course, Hampton Inn Visalia, Downtown Visalians, Comfort Inn Visalia, Lamp Liter Inn, Best Western Visalia, and Arts Visalia Gallery.
“We’re excited for the Fox Theatre team and their patrons, as they have joined this movement to help serve the millions of autistic and sensory-sensitive travelers and their families who are looking for more welcoming and accessible spaces,” said Myron Pincomb, board chairman of IBCCES. “Our programs provide long-term strategic support and additional resources beyond training, that make our certifications and the organizations who complete our program leaders in the space.”
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 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 Fox Theatre
The Visalia Fox Theatre is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was originally opened in 1930. The theatre has been operated by the formed group, Visalian Friends of the Fox Theatre, since 1996 to acquire, restore, and reopen the theatre. As such, the theatre has been preserved and has operated as a performing arts venue, gathering place, and focal point of cultural activity and educational outreach for our community.
Learn More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™
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