Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Director Marc Heirshberg

“The training our staff has undergone highlights our commitment to making sure our programs and activities are inclusive to all in the community. The training has made us more aware of how to effectively provide our services to people with autism.” Marc Heirshberg

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“Autism Friendly” just isn’t good enough

Your community is already neurodiverse, with 1 in 6 people having a sensory disorder and the diagnosis rates of autism and other cognitive disorders steadily increasing. Make sure your team is prepared to connect with your entire community and better engage and communicate with individuals with autism and other sensory disorders.

Research has shown that engaging in stimulating activities such as outdoor play, animal and water interaction, and activities involving balance and motor skills are therapeutic for children and individuals on the autism spectrum.

Organizations across the globe claim to be “Autism friendly” but are not equipped to truly accommodate a wide range of individuals, including those who are autistic. This has left families and individuals disappointed due to lack of trained and aware staff and facilities.

The IBCCES Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) certification recognizes organizations that have a highly trained staff and are fully equipped to serve the fastest growing population of developmental disorders.

All Certified Autism Centers™ must meet the following requirements:

  • Dedicated to serving individuals with autism
  • At least 80% of staff trained and certified in the field of autism
  • Is committed to ongoing training in autism

IBCCES online training and certification options include programs designed for entry level and seasonal employees, aquatics professionals, leadership and program directors, therapists, and others. As part of the CAC process, an onsite review by IBCCES experts will be conducted on key assets in your community, which includes a comprehensive report with suggested changes or modifications to better serve individuals on the spectrum, as well as sensory guides for activities.

Certified Autism Center™ Benefits

Mesa Park with family on slideTraining

  • Position specific, customized online training for staff
  • Access to ongoing learning opportunities
  • Gain knowledge and confidence in customer-facing scenarios
  • 2-year certification
  • Onsite review of facilities by an expert that includes a comprehensive report with recommendations on ways to accommodate or offer options for a wide range of individuals, as well as sensory guides for activities or interactive assets


  • Listing on International Online Registry of Certified Autism Centers™
  • Press release from IBCCES announcing CAC
  • Framed certification for display
  • Customized decals for nametags and entryways
  • Validated Digital Certification Badge for website and social media
  • Featured on, accessible to over 5.6 million parents, individuals and families worldwide
  • Certified Autism Center™ announcement to all travel agents who have completed the Certified Autism Travel Professional training

Competitive Advantage

  • Ensure you are providing programs that are inclusive and accessible to your community
  • Be a leader in the industry
  • Empower your staff and equip them with additional professional knowledge and skills
  • Gain recognition for efforts in adaptive recreation programs and training
  • Ability to contact IBCCES experts at any time with questions

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1 in 6 sensory stat

1 in 6 people have a sensory disorder that affects their day-to-day life.

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$262 billion is spent on autism related services in the US each year.

1 in 54 kids
1 in 54 children has been identified with autism.

ethnic infographic
ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

* Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

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.

Autism Travel Text Only Logo

Once you become a Certified Autism Center™, you will be featured as a certified organization on and, which have been developed by IBCCES as credible resources to help leading organizations across the globe showcase themselves as safe, sensory friendly, trained and certified option for parents and individuals on the spectrum.

Mayor of Arizona

“Mesa is well known as a destination for families to both live and visit,” Mayor John Giles said. “I am proud that our Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department took that priority a step further to ensure that children on the autism spectrum have a fun experience in Mesa.”

– Mesa, AZ Mayor John Giles

Learn More About Becoming a Certified Autism Center™