Visit Santa Cruz County Earns Autism Certification to Help Better Serve All Visitors

Visit Santa Cruz County proudly announces its recent accreditation as a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). A certified organization must have at least 80 percent of their staff undergo specialized training and certification, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to understand and cater to the unique needs of autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors and their families when visiting the Santa Cruz County area.  Every Visit Santa Cruz County staff member participated in IBCCES’ autism training, achieving a 100 percent completion rate.

“Santa Cruz County is a destination where people celebrate people and recognize and champion the wonderful diversity of the human experience. This Certified Autism Center™ certification for Visit Santa Cruz County is a natural and necessary extension of that celebration, and we are proud to make this commitment to all our visitors,” stated Terence Concannon, CEO of Visit Santa Cruz County.

Visit Santa Cruz County

The certification arrives at a critical moment, as the CDC’s recent update indicates that the autism diagnosis rate now stands at 1 in 36 children, with one in six people having a sensory need. This data points to a growing demand for more accessible hospitality and entertainment options for autistic individuals and their families, who aspire to explore new destinations but often face concerns about finding accommodating and understanding environments.

Visit Santa Cruz County

Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration: “An increasing number of visitors and their families deserve to not only feel welcome, but also truly understood, enabling them to forge lasting memories and enjoy travel with complete comfort. We are delighted to join forces with Visit Santa Cruz County as they bolster their commitment to accessibility, ensuring that a wider range of travelers can enjoy a fantastic experience.”

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals worldwide. IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based training, as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other tools and resources, such as onsite reviews, customized recommendations and renewal requirements to ensure the program is a long-term commitment that has a lasting impact.

Visit Santa Cruz County is in the process of expanding the amenities of its year-around Visitor Center, including the addition of fidget toys and plush toys to enhance a low-sensory area for the benefit of neurodivergent visitors. 

Visit Santa Cruz County

IBCCES also manages, a complimentary online resource that lists certified destinations and additional resources for families, highlighting the commitment of places like Santa Cruz County to the autism community.

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 neurodiversity. 


About Visit Santa Cruz County:

A private, non-profit corporation, Visit Santa Cruz County (VSCC) exists to enhance tourism and the economy by positioning Santa Cruz County as a visitor, conference, and film destination. For more information, contact VSCC at +1.831.425.1234 or visit VSCC’s website at

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.

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