Town of Queen Creek Parks and Recreation is Now Autism Certified

Queen Creek Parks and Recreation, in an effort to be more accommodating to visitors and residents with autism, has completed a training and certification program through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Earning the designation of Certified Autism Center (CAC) ensures that the staff of Queen Creek are better equipped to help create an inclusive environment in community spaces. As part of the certification process, IBCCES also reviewed key parks and community resources and will be providing additional information and guides for visitors and residents to the area.

“Queen Creek strives to be an inclusive community for people of all abilities,” shared Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney. “This certification is an important milestone towards that goal. It better prepares our staff to interact with individuals with autism, enhancing their experience at our parks and in our programs. We are committed to providing quality programs and services for the entire community and are excited to achieve this designation to better serve Queen Creek.” Continue Reading →

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Courtyard Phoenix Mesa Receives Certified Autism Center Designation

Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find choosing travel and vacation options a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns. To address this need, Courtyard Phoenix Mesa has earned the designation of Certified Autism Center (CAC), awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The certification means that the hotel is committed to serving guests with autism and sensory needs and have completed training to ensure guests can enjoy the best possible experience.

The Courtyard Phoenix Mesa also joins a growing number of organizations that are becoming certified in Arizona, a movement inspired by the work of the Visit Mesa organization and that community’s goal to become the most autism inclusive in the world. Continue Reading →

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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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Gotham Divers Becomes A Certified Autism Center

First Dive Shop in New York to Receive the Certified Autism Center Designation

Gotham Divers, a local New York City dive shop dedicated to offering the highest quality training at all levels of SCUBA has completed the process of becoming a Certified Autism Center (CAC). The CAC a designation demonstrates the dive shop’s commitment to ensuring individuals and families with children who have autism have the best possible experience when taking one of their dive courses. They are the first dive shop in New York to earn this designation.

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Splish Splash Water Park Receives Certified Autism Center Designation

First Water Park in New York to Receive Such Designation

Splish Splash Water Park, in conjunction with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), announced the completion of a staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training. The completion designates Splish Splash as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) as distinguished by IBCCES, making it the first water park in New York to receive such a distinction.

Working closely with IBCCES, the staff at Splish Splash will be continually trained to assist guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families to help ensure a positive experience during their visit. Splish Splash will also undergo an onsite review by IBCCES and will incorporate sensory guides for each ride so guests with sensory needs can better plan their day and make informed choices best suited to their individual needs. Guests can also visit Splish Splash Guest Services for any additional accommodations they might need.

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