First Dive Shop in Asia to Earn the Certified Autism Center™ Designation

Marshall Scuba Swim and Safety has become the first dive shop in Asia to earn the designation of Certified Autism Center™ (CAC). The CAC designation, granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), means that visitors and families with children who are on the autism spectrum can enjoy the best possible experience that caters to their needs when they’re learning to dive.

Marshall Scuba Swim and Safety is in Malaysia, only ten minutes from the border with Singapore. Achieving this designation complements the long-standing efforts of Marshall’s owner and main instructor, Kenneth Tuttle. Kenneth has taught swimming for over three decades. Marshall Scuba and Swim Safety offers all levels of scuba instruction, along with instructor training to work with students on the autism spectrum as well as those with other cognitive and physical disabilities.

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Sesame Place + Inclusion: A First-Hand Perspective

Sesame Place was the first theme park in the world to become a Certified Autism Center™(CAC), as designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES.) Sesame Place has continued to champion inclusiveness for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and others with special needs. Sesame Place’s goal is to create an environment that welcomes all visitors, and the CAC training and certification process was the first step. Dr. Kerry Magro, autism advocate, best-selling author and professional speaker, shares his thoughts and experiences at Sesame Place:

“By Sesame Place becoming a Certified Autism Center™ and also really being a pioneer for our community, it’s doing incredible, incredible things for our autism community – and helping engage our community to get out there and explore the world around them,” says Dr. Magro.

Sesame Place – Kerry Magro from IBCCES on Vimeo.

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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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Scuba Diving and Autism Part 3: Reduce Danger and Learn New Skills

Learning Water Skills Can Help Reduce the Danger of Water

It is widely known that drowning is a major concern for children with autism, which sometimes leads parents to avoid water altogether.

Also, if individuals on the spectrum have not developed a level of comfort or the proper skillset to know what to do when confronted with water, this could lead to sensory overload when those encounters occur. Signs of sensory overload can vary for each individual, but typically there are ways to recognize these signs and reduce or prevent sensory overload or “meltdowns”.

It is usually easier for a parent or someone other than the person with autism to recognize these signs and to act on them before it is too late. While children can and should be trained themselves on how to try and recognize these signs and take steps for prevention of sensory overload, this is usually a lifelong process of continual refinement (and hopefully improvement).

This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to have children with autism have experiences in water with trained professionals. If they can develop a comfort level and get practice in the water under proper supervision, then being around water will be that much safer for them in other areas of life.

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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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House of Refuge Becomes Certified Autism Center

House of Refuge is joining the Mesa Autism Initiative, connecting to an expanding network of organizations that have earned the Certified Autism Center (CAC) designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).  A faith-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, House of Refuge has been helping families experiencing homelessness in the East Valley for over 20 years by providing transitional housing and wrap-around support services. These services, coupled with the stability provided by housing, provide families with the foundation and resources needed to achieve self-sufficiency and obtain permanent housing.

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Autism and Water Affinity: Increase Awareness and Reduce the Danger of Water

Awareness and Proper Supervision Can Help Reduce the Danger of Water

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children with autism and recent reports show that children with ASD are 160 times more likely to die from drowning than the general population of children (Gleeson, 2016), which sometimes leads to parents avoiding water all together.

Also, if individuals on the spectrum have not developed a level of comfort or the proper skillset to know what to do when confronted with water, this could lead to sensory overload when those encounters occur. Signs of sensory overload can vary for each individual, but typically there are ways to recognize these signs and reduce or prevent sensory overload or “meltdowns”.

This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to have children with autism have experiences in water with trained professionals. If they can develop a comfort level and get practice in the water under proper supervision, then being around water will be that much safer for them in other areas of life.

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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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