Destination Marketing Organizations and Visitor’s Bureaus are recognizing they can lead the way when it comes to differentiating their communities and attracting an underserved and quickly growing market: individuals with autism and sensory needs and their families.

Inclusion and accessibility are critical factors when many families are choosing where to visit, and ensuring there are concrete steps in place to enhance the visitor experience and welcome new guests to your destination will ensure your organization and community can step to meet this demand. Because of these growing needs, IBCCES offers programs and a community designation (the CAD) to help travel, tourism, entertainment and hospitality organizations support these efforts and provide a framework for these initiatives.

Becoming a Certified Autism Destination (CAD) aims to ensure autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors feel welcomed, safe, and above all, have fun! Becoming a CAD means a representative number of a destination’s attractions, hotels, and other recreation and entertainment venues have completed autism and sensory disorder sensitivity and awareness training and as well as other programs through IBCCES.

Certified Autism Destinations meet the following requirements:

Dedicated to serving autistic individuals

Majority of attractions and tourism-related organizations trained and certified in autism

Onsite audits performed for key partners

Committed to ongoing support and training


Increase out of region tourism revenue

Create a distinct inclusive brand for your destination

Create opportunity for funding and grants

Increase community engagement


Feedback From Certified Organizations

  • Triple-digit increase in out-of-market guests

  • $200K grant for autism improvements

  • 50% increase in employee morale score

  • 400 families self-identified on park opening day

  • 54% increase in group bookings

  • 45% improvement in guest satisfaction scores

  • 32% increase in first-time guests

male traveler at a Certified Autism Destination

TRAINING: Industry and position-specific training and certification from clinical experts as well as autistic individuals

VALIDATION: The knowledge and readiness of each staff member is validated via independent assessment

VERIFICATION: Onsite facilities audit, if applicable, is performed to provide additional recommendations and process updates to ensure compliance and enhance accommodations

CERTIFICATION: Certification is granted to industry leaders who have gone above and beyond to make their business or community more accessible for individuals with autism and other special needs

Autism Travel Text Only LogoOnce you become an Autism Certified Destination you will be featured as a certified organization on, which was developed by IBCCES as a credible resource to help autistic individuals and their families and friends connect with trained and certified destinations, attractions, and related options.

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Marc Garcia. headshot“IBCCES is a first class organization and their team has done a great job of helping us get our visitor industry partners engaged. The whole community of Mesa, including the City of Mesa and the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, has rallied around the Autism Certification program, which has resulted in unprecedented media coverage and community pride. Of critical importance is the fact that IBCCES helps us meaningfully convey to our stakeholders that Autism Certification is more than the right thing to do. It’s good business.”

– Marc Garcia, CEO Visit Mesa Tourism Board

Find Out More About Becoming A Certified Autism Destination

Fill out the form below to connect with a Certification Advisor for more information