Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport (TOL) becomes the first airport in the country to receive the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) grants this prestigious credential to organizations that prove their ongoing commitment to creating an environment that welcomes, includes, and accommodates autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals. To become a CAC, the airport team completed a comprehensive training and certification process to ensure they are equipped with the skills, resources and understanding of the best practices for accommodating autistic and sensory-sensitive travelers and their families.
“We are proud to be the first airport in the country to receive a Certified Autism Center™ designation for Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport, which is part of Destination Toledo’s vision of making Toledo a Certified Autism Destination,” says Tim O’Donnell, Airport Director for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “The airport is an important asset in our region that should be equally accessible to every member of our community. Our already established AccessTOL program continues to provide an interactive, hands-on experience to future passengers to familiarize and introduce them to the airport in a way that aims to help them feel more comfortable and empowered to travel, and this designation will only improve that program.”
Toledo Express hosts multiple AccessTOL Airport Experience Events throughout the year to provide those who might need additional support or assistance with the experience of traveling through an airport and identifying potential challenges they may encounter. At the event, individuals will learn how to visit the ticket counter to receive a boarding pass, get screened through TSA, check-in at the gate, walk through the jet bridge and retrieve a bag at baggage claim. TOL’s website includes a website ADA compliance subscription, called AccessiBe, which offers website features such as seizure safe, vision impaired, ADHD friendly and screen readers.
By completing the CAC program, TOL joins the greater Destination Toledo initiative to achieve the Certified Autism Destination™ (CAD) designation, which IBCCES awards to communities with a multitude of trained and certified lodging, recreation, and entertainment options. Other organizations that have completed the CAC program as part of this initiative include Destination Toledo, Valentine Theatre, Sylvania Chamber, Avenues for Autism, Boyds Retro Candy, Wingate by Wyndham Sylvania/Toledo, Toledo Speedway BMX, and Toledo Museum of Art, with many organizations in the area in the process of completion.
The completion of the CAC designation at the Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport and the success of the AccessTOL program would not have been possible without the participation of several partners, including Destination Toledo, Avis/Budget, Enterprise, Choice Aviation (Allegiant ground handling), Transportation Security Administration, Avenues for Autism, and the Autism Society of Northwest Ohio.
“Having the first airport in the country to become a Certified Autism Center not only speaks to Toledo’s efforts to be a welcoming and inclusive destination for all travelers, but helps fill a need for the 1 in 6 people with sensory needs, a significant community of underserved travelers that we welcome with open arms in Toledo,” said Lance Woodworth, President and CEO of Destination Toledo.
“Toledo Express Airport’s decision to become autism certified is very admirable,” says Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman. “By becoming a CAC, TOL is proving how much they care for every traveler that visits the airport. This is a huge step in creating travel options that are accessible for all people, regardless of their unique needs, and we hope that this will set a new precedent for other airports to follow suit.”
IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe for more than 20 years. IBCCES is the only global credentialing board providing travel and entertainment organizations with training and certification from subject-matter experts and autistic self-advocates, and other resources, as well as long-term support that helps them understand how to better accommodate and assist autistic or sensory-sensitive visitors and their families.
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for families 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 Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport
The Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport (TOL), owned by the City of Toledo, has been managed by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority since 1973. TOL offers nonstop service to Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona, and Orlando Sanford, Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda and St. Pete-Clearwater, Florida, via Allegiant. TOL is home to over 20 on-airport businesses including the 180th Fighter Wing Ohio National Guard, and an Amazon Air Toledo Gateway. Various corporate hangers, aircraft maintenance facilities, fixed-based operators, and air cargo operations are located at TOL. Toledo Public Schools’ Aerospace & Natural Science Academy of Toledo and the Federal Aerospace Institute adult aircraft maintenance technician school are both located at the airport, making Toledo a leader in aviation education.
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.
Learn More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™
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