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ISCRD Virtual Summit: Accelerating Recovery By Welcoming Guests with Autism and Other Needs

Attendees will benefit from sessions led by experts on:

  • How to Attract New Travelers Of Different Abilities (Including Autism) 
  • How to Incorporate an Accessibility Program
  • New Opportunity To Recover Market Share
  • Case Study

This virtual summit will provide information to ensure attraction and hospitality leaders have the knowledge and resources on how to attract a new audience and ways to differentiate your location post-pandemic.

About the Host

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many autistic adults and families with autistic children have limited travel and recreation options where they feel safe and welcomed. In response to this need, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for attractions, hotels, zoos, aquariums, and other recreational locations. IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based training from experts as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other tools and resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations, and renewal requirements to ensure the program is a long-term commitment that has a lasting impact.


Register NOW – $200

Summit Keynote Speakers

Erik B

Erik Beard

Managing Member / General Counsel, International Ride Training LLC;
Creator of ADA FAQ: Disability Training for the Attractions Industry

Erik H. Beard is a managing member and general counsel of International Ride Training where he oversees the company’s legal needs and also supports its amusement ride safety training, certification, auditing and accessibility programs including the International Ride Operator Certification program, the world’s only third-party certification of safety, efficiency, and professionalism for amusement ride operators. He has worked in the amusement industry for over twenty-five years.

Erik is a nationally recognized authority on the application of the Americans With Disabilities Act to the amusement park industry and is the creator of “ADA FAQ,” the nation’s only ADA compliance training program specifically devoted to increasing accessibility and accommodation of guests with disabilities at amusement parks and attractions by training front-line ride operators, lifeguards, and other park employees in the complexities of the ADA as applied to their unique business. Erik is a frequent speaker at amusement industry events and trade shows such as the IAAPA Expo, IAAPA Asia Expo, IAAPA Operators Forum, the World Waterpark Association trade show, the Ellis & Associates International Aquatic Safety School, and the International Ride Operator Safety School, among others. He serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and on the North American Government Relations Sub-Committee of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Joel Ryan of Sandals

Joel Ryan

Themed Entertainment Strategist at Sandals Resorts International

Joel Ryan, Themed Entertainment Strategist at Sandals Resorts International, is a motivational, persistent, optimistic leader who encourages his team to strive towards realizing their best selves. He is an expert in agile management, project planning, and events management, and these valuable skill sets constantly contribute to building business bridges with leadership, creativity and integrity.

Ryan gained rich professional experience through working on the Disney Cruise Line for seven years. Throughout this period, he worked in various capacities, including Cruise Director. After this, he assumed the role of Group Manager for Sandals and Beaches Entertainment. His success in the latter is what led him to his current position. In 2017, Joel was key in leading the world-renowned hotel chain to be the first resort company in the world to become autism certified.

Catherine Valeriano

Catherine Valeriano

Park President, Sesame Place®

Cathy has over 30 years of industry experience having started her career with SeaWorld Theme Parks & Entertainment in 1987 where she held the roles of general manger and vice president at Aquatica Orlando, SeaWorld’s Waterpark.  In October 2017, she was appointed to the role of park president at Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA.

Sesame Place®, the only theme park in the U.S. based entirely on the award-winning show, Sesame Street® and is the first theme park in the world to become Certified Autism Center as distinguished by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Conveniently located just 30 minutes from Philadelphia and 90 minutes from New York City, the park has more than 25 attractions, three live shows, and of course, everyone’s favorite furry friends.

Matti H headshot

Matti Hammett

Accessibility Programs Manager Co-Chair, Committee for Advancing Museum Accessibility at Houston Museum of Natural Science

Matti Hammett graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and is now the Accessibility Programs Manager at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston, Texas. Prior to working at HMNS, Matti worked as an intern at the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming as well as the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Matti has been with the Houston Museum of Natural Science for nine years in various capacities, including Teaching Assistant with the Summer Camps @HMNS program, Visitor Services Manager, and Youth Education Registrar. Since Matti stepped into the role of Accessibility Programs Manager, she has worked with her colleagues to implement Touch Tours with the blind community in Houston, create tactile and electronic resources as well as Sensory Friendly Events for those with autism and sensory sensitivities visiting the Museum, provide work experiences for interns with disabilities through Texas Workforce Commission and Vocational Rehabilitation Services, partner with community organizations for access initiatives, and obtain the status of Certified Autism Center through training with the IBCCES. Matti has presented on her work at the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting, the Leadership in Arts and Disability Conference, the Texas Association of Museums Conference, and the SXSWedu Conference.

Tyler Putnam of Museum of the American Revolution

Tyler Putman

Accessible Programming at the Museum of the American Revolution

Tyler Putman is the Gallery Interpretation Manager at the Museum of the American Revolution. He holds a PhD and MA in American History from the University of Delaware, an MA in American Material Culture from the Winterthur Program, and a BA in Anthropology from Heidelberg College. His background includes work in public archaeology, the antiques trade, historical tailoring, and tall ship sailing. In 2014, he sailed aboard the Charles W. Morgan and across the Atlantic aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. He first worked for the Museum as a historic trades intern on the First Oval Office Project in 2013.


ISCRD will be held on May 7, 2021, from 2-4 pm EST, featuring live Q+A from presenters. If you can’t join live, sessions will be available to attendees for viewing until May 21.

Session topics:

  • How to Attract New Travelers Of Different Abilities (Including Autism) 
  • How to Incorporate an Accessibility Program
  • New Opportunity To Recover Market Share
  • Case Study

Register for the May 7, 2021 Summit

If you need to pay via electronic fund transfer, Purchase Order, or other method, contact us.

  • Price: $200.00

  • $0.00

  • MasterCard

    Supported Credit Cards: MasterCard, Visa


family packed for air travel

  • Park Presidents, Directors, or Managers
  • Museum, Zoo, Science Center, or Aquarium Directors
  • Hotel/Resort Management
  • Hospitality Managers
  • Attraction and FEC Managers or Owners
  • Director of Parks & Recreation


ISCRD will be held virtually on May 7, 2021, including live Q+A sessions with presenters. Attendees will be given access to view recorded sessions until May 21, 2021.