April is National Autism Acceptance Month — The Joslyn Center Named First Autism Center for Seniors in the Nation

This Certification Demonstrates the Commitment of The Joslyn Center to Serve Older Adults in Our Community of all Abilities and is a great way to Celebrate Autism Acceptance Month in April

The Joslyn Center, is proud to announce that it has been Certified as the first autism center for seniors in the nation.  The certification by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards demonstrates that The Joslyn Center “front facing” staff and volunteers have undergone autism-specific training to better understand and accommodate the needs of autistic and sensory-sensitive people.  The staff’s training with the IBCCES ensures that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to offer supportive and accommodating services.

“The Joslyn Center is so excited to announce that we have recently been certified as the first autism center for seniors in the nation.  This is reflective of our desire to be a center for all in our community regardless of real or perceived disability.  Research shows that social and recreational activities have resulted in positive physical and mental health outcomes for autistic adults. What better place to offer these services to autistic older adults than a center that has been providing social and recreational activities for older adults for over 40 years” stated Jack Newby, Executive Director.

The Joslyn Center

Melanie Lyons, Joslyn Center Program Director explains her commitment to achieving this milestone, “Creating inclusive programming for older adults on the autism spectrum is not just a professional endeavor for me; it’s deeply personal. As a parent of two teenage sons with autism, I know firsthand the importance of ensuring continued support beyond childhood. Autism doesn’t end at 18; it’s a lifelong journey. It’s about building a community that embraces and sustains individuals with ASD, providing them with the necessary resources and engagement opportunities as they navigate through different stages of life. This mission is not just a commitment; it’s a profound investment in the future, both for my children and for countless others like them.”

The Joslyn Center is working with Inland Regional Center in finalizing a collaborative working relationship with them based upon our approved Program Plan for social recreational programming for Autistic older adults. The Joslyn Center would be the first such program in our area.

The Joslyn Center Board of Directors has been very supportive of this initiative.  Beverly Fitzgerald explained, “As the Board President of the Joslyn Center, I am incredibly proud to announce our commitment to creating a more inclusive environment for autistic individuals. Socialization plays a vital role in all older adults’ lives, but it is needed especially for those with autism. It provides not just companionship but also opportunities for growth, continued learning, and a sense of belonging. Through specialized training and programming, we will combat loneliness and isolation, providing a welcoming space where everyone can thrive. This initiative marks a significant step towards a more compassionate community, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

The Joslyn Center

For over two decades, IBCCES has served as the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for education, health care, and corporate professionals worldwide. IBCCES offers training and certification programs developed in collaboration with clinical experts and autistic self-advocates. The organization equips professionals with a deeper understanding of effective communication and interaction strategies for individuals with cognitive differences or sensory needs, as well as insights into industry best practices and the latest research in these fields.

“IBCCES is excited to work with The Joslyn Center to build upon their team’s expertise. Our specialized programs will help their team do what they do best – support the well-being of adults 50+ through innovative programs and services,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.

The Joslyn Center has been building collaborative working relationships in order to provide inclusive programming and support for others in the disability community.  They work with the Braille Institute in providing services and programming for blind and low vision clients and are establishing an exercise program for older adults with Parkinson’s.  

For The Joslyn Center, pursuing this Certification was a means to solidify for our organization and for the community our commitment to inclusive programming for all older adults, regardless of ability.


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 The Joslyn Center:

The Joslyn Center has been an essential part of the local senior community since 1981.  The Joslyn Center  offers health, recreation, education, and social service programs along with referral, volunteer, and nutrition services. With 2,300+ members, Joslyn is a central gathering place for socialization, health and wellness programs, classes, and lectures. Now in its sixth year, the Nationally recognized Joslyn Wellness Center continues to grow to meet the needs of older adults. Our on-site Fitness Center continues to bustle with activity. Combined with other Joslyn Wellness Center programs such as Brain Boot Camp and Aging Mastery Program®, it fulfills our holistic approach to supporting both body and mind. Our free bilingual counseling services continue to expand along with greater outreach and new community partnerships.  The Joslyn Center is also home to the Arthur Newman Theater.  For more information or to learn how The Joslyn Center is enriching lives every day, visit www.JoslynCenter.org or call 760-340-3220.  

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