“Autism Friendly” isn’t enough

Zoos and aquariums are exciting, educational spaces that can provide a great way for families and individuals to have fun and create memories – research has shown that engaging in stimulating activities such as travel, animal interaction, water play, and outdoor activities can even be therapeutic for autistic individuals. However, there are things your staff needs to do in order to be able to welcome ALL guests and ensure you have accessible options and the training to improve guest experience at your park.

Organizations across the globe claim to be “Autism friendly” but are not equipped to truly accommodate these guests. This has left families disappointed due to a lack of trained and aware staff. The IBCCES Certified Autism Center (CAC) certification recognizes organizations that have trained staff and are fully equipped to serve the fastest-growing population of developmental disorders and are designated as CACs by a professional credentialing organization with ongoing support for the lifetime of the certification.

All Certified Autism Centers™ meet the following requirements:

Dedicated to serving autistic individuals

At least 80% of guest-facing staff trained and certified in autism

Committed to ongoing training and accessibility (renewal requirement every 2 years)

An onsite review by IBCCES experts includes a comprehensive report with suggested changes or modifications & sensory guides for activities. (requirement dependent on size of the organization)

Benefits of Certification

Stand out from your competitors

Position-specific, customized online training for staff

Increase market share and drive revenue

Gain knowledge & confidence in guest-facing scenarios

Competitive Advantage

  • Empower your staff

  • Become confident in your ability to provide travel/entertainment solutions to a $262 billion, underserved market

  • International recognition for your expertise in the fastest growing market in the travel/entertainment industry

  • Ability to contact IBCCES experts at any time with questions

families at Certified Autism Center aquarium

Did You Know?

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

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

1 in 54 kids have asd infographic
1 in 54 children has been diagnosed with autism.

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ASD is at a 600% increase.

* Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

Training

  • Position specific online training for staff – there is no one-size fits all
  • 2-year certification
  • Onsite review by an expert that includes a comprehensive report with suggested modifications to better serve autistic individuals or those with sensory needs, as well as sensory guides for attractions or interactive features.

Marketing

  • Listing on International Online Registry of Certified Autism Centers™
  • Press release from IBCCES announcing CAC
  • Framed certification for display
  • Customized identification adhesives to showcase CAC status on staff badges/nametags
  • Validated CAC Badge for website and social media
  • Featured on AutismTravel.com, accessible to over 5.6 million parents, individuals and families worldwide

Your team will complete our online training and certification process. And 80% of guest-facing staff must complete the program to earn Certified Autism Center™ designation.

certification process
*Your organization may undergo an onsite review by IBCCES experts includes a comprehensive report with suggested changes or modifications to better serve autistic individuals, as well as sensory guides for activities (depends on the size of the organization).

Autism Travel Text Only LogoOnce you become a Certified Autism Center™, you will be featured as a certified organization on AutismTravel.com, 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.

As covered on:

AT Media Logos

  • girl silhouette

    Vicky, mother and Santa Barbara Zoo guest

    My son, LOVES going to the zoo and becomes a chatter box the minute we cross the entrance gate. Being in such a big space with so much stimulation can be very overwhelming for Noah, but knowing that the zoo is a Certified Autism Center™ is extremely reassuring. I know firsthand that each time we visit the zoo, Noah will be able to enjoy it, he will have a blast and have the full zoo experience just like his siblings’.

  • girl silhouette

    Jennifer Conti, Elmwood Park Zoo’s Development Director

    It’s been really cool since getting the certification to see how it rippled into so many different areas and opportunities and, at the end of the day, it’s all in the name of being better accommodating to our guests. From our perspective, the certification was 100% a positive experience and very impactful. We couldn’t be happier with the results.

Find Out More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™

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