Posted By Visit Mesa Team
March 31, 2021
How Mesa, America’s First-ever Autism Certified City, is celebrating Autism Awareness Month
Mesa, Arizona is the first-ever Autism Certified city in the United States. We want to share with you our journey on becoming a CAC and how we will be celebrating Autism Awareness month throughout April. Learn the meaning of Autism Travel and follow along on our social media accounts.
Becoming a Certified Autism Center
On November 18, 2019 Mesa became the first-ever Autism Certified City in the U.S. designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, making travel planning easier for families on the spectrum.
Visit Mesa partnered with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to introduce the path to Certification process to our partners. IBCCES is setting the standard for autism (and other cognitive disorders) certifications as the only known organization focused on the hospitality/travel industry. Their key insights, paired with their Autism Travel nationwide presence, will help our partners better understand the ASD community and their growing need for autism-certified travel destinations, attractions and hotels. By accomplishing certification, families affected by ASD can trust Mesa as a dedicated tourism destination serving individuals with autism. Certification is achieved when at least 80% of guest-facing staff is trained and certified in the field of autism.
You can learn more about our journey and how you can become certified here.
Certified dining / accommodations / attractions in Mesa
12 West Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant
Jake’s Unlimited (in progress)
Jarrod's Coffee, Tea & Gallery (in progress)
Macayo's Mexican Food - East Mesa
Macayo's Mexican Food - West Mesa
You can view more options here
Best Western Plus Mesa
Courtyard Phoenix Mesa
Delta Hotels by Marriott Phoenix-Mesa
DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix Mesa
Holiday Inn & Suites Phoenix-Mesa/Chandler
Hyatt Place Phoenix-Mesa
Residence Inn Phoenix Mesa
Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch
Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West
You can view more options here
Autism Travel GeoTour
Visit Mesa’s Autism Travel GeoTour is a strategic collection of geocaches anchored at many of Mesa’s participating Certified Autism Centers and city parks — these hidden finds will get the whole family hunting and gathering for fun! All ages and all lifestyles from outdoor adventurers to tech-lovers will enjoy the thrill of searching for geocaches on this custom family-friendly tour.
Get treasure hunting throughout Mesa in three easy steps!
1 – To access on mobile, download the free Geocaching® app available in your app store
2 – Log in or Sign up and search for the Visit Mesa Autism Travel GeoTour OR Visit Mesa Fresh Foodie Trail Geo Tour and view the current list of geocaches hidden in Mesa and throughout our region
3 – Turn on your ‘Location Services’ and search under GeoTours GT48C (Autism)
Follow us on Instagram!
Follow our IG accounts and keep up with our #AutismAwarenessMonth celebration all month long. We will be highlighting partners who completed their IBCCES training and joins us on our journey to make travel planning easier.