Partnership Between UNO Parks and IBCCES leads to the First Certified Autism Center in Europe

UNO Parks, a treetop adventure park architect group in the Baltics with over 40 parks built worldwide, has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), the industry leader in autism training and certification, with the goal of training and certifying their various indoor and outdoor adventure parks.

The first park to become certified is UNO Park Vilnius in Lithuania. This treetop adventure park joins a growing number of theme parks, hotels and attractions that have earned the Certified Autism Center (CAC) designation and will be the first attraction in Europe to do so. The CAC designation is awarded to organizations who have completed staff training and an onsite review process with the goal to better serve individuals with autism and other sensory needs.

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Arizona Office of Tourism is the First of Its Kind to Become a Certified Autism Center

The Arizona Office of Tourism is the first state office of tourism to earn the Certified Autism Center (CAC) designation from International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The Certified Autism Center designation is awarded by IBCCES to organizations who have completed a training and review process and are committed to serving individuals with autism and other sensory needs.

The Arizona Office of Tourism is leading the way for tourism offices across the nation, and globe, to take this important step toward inclusivity. This achievement cements their commitment to providing resources for individuals on the autism spectrum looking for new experiences. The Arizona Office of Tourism joins a growing number of organizations that are becoming certified in Arizona, a movement inspired by the work of Visit Mesa and that city’s goal to become the most autism inclusive destination in the world.

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NY Times: Rolling Out the Welcome Mat for Travelers With Autism

A growing number of theme parks, hotels and special attractions are introducing autism training and sensory guides.

 
 

The Thibault family at Rio Secreto, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, 2017. From left, Chris, Sebastian, Tristan, Emerson and Nicole Thibault.Credit via Thibault family

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When Nicole Thibault had her first child, she imagined traveling everywhere with him. But by age 2, he would become upset by simply passing a restaurant that smelled of garlic. Waiting in line elicited tantrums and crowded places overwhelmed him. Autism was diagnosed within the year.

“I thought maybe our family dream of travel wouldn’t happen,” said Ms. Thibault, 46, of Fairport, N.Y., who now has three children. But she spent the next three years learning to prepare her son for travel by watching videos of future destinations and attractions so that he would know what to expect. The preparation helped enable him, now 14 and well-traveled, to enjoy adventures as challenging as exploring caves in Mexico. It also encouraged Ms. Thibault to launch a business, Magical Storybook Travels, planning travel for families with special needs.

Now the travel industry is catching up to the family. A growing number of theme parks, special attractions and hotels are introducing autism training and sensory guides that highlight triggers, providing resources in times of need and assuring families they won’t be judged.

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Story Land Becomes the First Amusement Park to Earn the Certified Autism Center Designation in New Hampshire

Story Land amusement park, nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, recently earned the Certified Autism Center (CAC) designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).  This certification demonstrates Story Land’s dedication to provide a space where guests will be supported by staff who have completed training to accommodate needs specific to those with autism and other sensory disorders.

Beyond the 20 beloved rides, Story Land also offers unique dining experiences, shows, story time with Mother Goose in her manor, photo opportunities with storybook characters, carnival style games, & Los Bravos Silver Mine for emerging explorers. Eternally geared toward pleasing younger guests, Story Land is the perfect setting for little ones to create their very own magical tale.

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OdySea Aquarium is the First Attraction in Arizona to become a Certified Autism Center

OdySea AquariumThe International Board of Credentialing and Continued Education Standards (IBCCES) announced today that OdySea Aquarium is the first attraction – and aquarium – in Arizona to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC). The CAC designation, granted by IBCCES, means that visitors and families with children who have autism and other sensory differences can enjoy the best possible experience that caters to their needs. To achieve today’s CAC accreditation, OdySea Aquarium completed the critical training required by IBCCES to recognize the needs of guests on the spectrum and provide necessary facility options for this demographic.

“We know families with children on the autism spectrum often find it challenging when choosing an attraction to visit,” said Greg Charbeneau, Vice President and General Manager at OdySea Aquarium. “Our mission to connect visitors with the wonders of the ocean has no exclusions. We have always made the necessary accommodations to make all guests as comfortable as possible – on every visit.  This certification was a natural step for us as we continue to provide safe, engaging and memorable experiences for all of our guests.”

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First Responders and Autism Training in the News

In West Liberty, Iowa, first responders recently completed autism training, stemming from an incident where a child with autism escaped from his home and went to the public pool.

As a nonverbal child, he has trouble communicating with people and they can have trouble communicating with him. This means that being around water can be especially dangerous.

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This article, and many others, demonstrate the need for nationwide autism training for first responders. IBCCES offers online training specifically designed for law enforcement and first responders that has already been implemented in numerous departments across the US.

Learn More About First Responder Autism Training

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