We are so thrilled to announce that Mesa, Arizona is officially the first Autism Certified City in the World!
WHAT IS AUTISM CERTIFICATION?
Several Visit Mesa Partner businesses are now CAC’s–Certified Autism Centers. This designation illustrates to those families affected by ASD that they 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. Through International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and Autism Travel, Mesa and our partners are now part of a network of trusted travel professionals already serving the ASD community.
WHO IS LEADING THIS CHARGE?
Visit Mesa has partnered with IBCCES to introduce the Path to Certification process to our partners. IBCCES is setting the standard for autism certifications (and other cognitive disorders) 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.
With a 600% increase in autism diagnoses in the U.S., autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the world. Visit Mesa is committed to serving this growing audience of potential visitors. Visit Mesa and our governing Board of Directors believe certification is the right thing to do to serve this growing, yet underserved community.
WHO IS CERTIFIED?
Numerous visitor-related businesses and organizations in Mesa the city’s regional footprint have completed autism training. This includes Mesa Parks, City of Mesa museums, the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, police and fire departments, and several area non-profits. Several businesses also participated in IBCCES audits and have developed sensory guides to further improve experiences for individuals with autism. See Complete Listing for more.