The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) is proud to announce that the City of Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department has achieved Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, becoming the first Parks & Recreation agency in the state of Texas to achieve this status. This recognition signifies the department’s commitment to building inclusive spaces and programs for autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals and their families. The team completed autism-specific training and certification to better understand and welcome these community members. Additionally, IBCCES conducted an onsite review to provide the department with valuable insights on further enhancing their facilities and created detailed sensory guides for recreation areas as part of the certification process.
“On behalf of the Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department, I want to thank our staff for working diligently to make this designation a reality,” said Jason Mangum, Assistant City Manager. “With this designation, our message to ALL families is that we see you, we value you, and we want you to have a welcoming experience every time you come to our parks, our events, and our programs.”
Recognizing the limited options available for autistic individuals and their families when it comes to safe and welcoming travel and recreational experiences, IBCCES developed specialized training and certification programs tailored specifically for attractions, hotels, zoos, aquariums, and other recreational venues. With 1 in 6 people having a sensory need or sensitivity and 1 in 36 children diagnosed with autism in the United States, the demand for more trained and certified options is at an all-time high.
In addition to their training and certification achievement, the Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department offers a diverse range of adaptive recreation programs that provide opportunities for active participation for individuals of varying abilities. These adaptive recreation programs are inherently sensory-friendly and include drum & rhythm circle, a group fitness class with B-Fit Universal, games and gardening in the ADA-accessible sensory garden, adaptive Pickleball classes, and trail troopers. To learn more about these activities, please visit www.missouricitytx.gov/1050/Adapted-Recreation.
The department has developed strategies at the Recreation & Tennis Center for individuals encountering heightened stress. Additionally, a Sensory Break Area is available during larger special events, usually situated further away from the crowds and loud noise. Fidget toys, headphones, and other calming tools are offered within this area.
“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department and support their commitment to fostering a welcoming environment for individuals with autism and sensory sensitivities,” shared Myron Pincomb, Board Chairman of IBCCES. “Through our evidence-based training and certification programs, we have equipped their staff with the knowledge and tools needed to enhance and create inclusive experiences, ensuring the unique needs of this community are met.”
For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for health care, education, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES created programs specifically for hospitality and recreational organizations such as hotels, theme parks, museums, 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 Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department
The City of Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department (MCTX Parks) is a nationally accredited, Texas Gold Medal Award-winning department comprised of Parks Operations and Recreation divisions that maintain and operate 21 developed parks across 515 acres, 501 acres of undeveloped parkland, 14.4 miles of trails, and a variety of natural areas, rights of way, athletic complexes, picnic pavilions and other facilities.
Committed to providing 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 recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.
Find Out How To Become A Certified Autism Center™