Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex recognized as a Certified Autism Center.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has recently partnered with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to obtain the prestigious designation of a Certified Autism Center to ensure that individuals on the Autism Spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities can visit the complex with confidence.
Since 2001, IBCCES has spearheaded cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, entertainment, and corporate professionals worldwide. As the sole credentialing organization offering this type of certification, IBCCES provides evidence-based training that incorporates the perspectives of individuals on the Autism Spectrum alongside other valuable tools and resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations. Additionally, IBCCES has created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for families. This platform lists certified destinations and connects families to other relevant resources and communities. Every listing on AutismTravel.com has met the requirements of the Certified Autism Center credential, providing families with peace of mind and ensuring a positive experience.
Many individuals on the Autism Spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities face challenges when visiting new places or planning family trips due to a lack of staff training and understanding, potential sensory overload, or the need for flexible options and accommodations. Recognizing this need, IBCCES has developed training and certification programs for various establishments, including attractions, museums, hotels, zoos, aquariums, and entertainment venues. These programs ensure that all families and individuals, regardless of their sensory needs or sensitivities, can have a memorable and enjoyable experience.
In the United States alone, one in six people has sensory needs or sensitivities, and one in thirty-six children is diagnosed with Autism.
“This certification is just one way we are working to ensure that Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is accessible to each of our guests,” said Therrin Protze, COO of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “The extensive autism sensitivity and awareness training our staff has undergone has already impacted how we interact with all families and children of all abilities but specifically those with Autism and other sensory sensitivities.”
Consequently, the demand for trained and certified options has reached an all-time high, prompting organizations like Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to take proactive steps in meeting these needs.
As a Certified Autism Center, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex now offers several features and services to ensure an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all guests. Firstly, the front-line team members at the visitor complex have undergone specialized training to assist Autistic guests and individuals with sensory sensitivities. Equipped with the necessary skills and understanding, these team members ensure that every visitor feels supported and accommodated.
Strategically placed sensory guidance signage throughout the visitor complex provides detailed information on how each area may impact sensory experiences, enabling individuals and families to plan activities that align with their specific needs and preferences. Additionally, designated low sensory zones have been established for a respite from potential sensory overload, allowing guests with sensory sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has also updated its Sensory Guide, available on its website, app, and at Guest Services, Information, and Will Call. This comprehensive guide offers detailed information about additional accommodations and options available to visitors, ensuring everyone can access and enjoy the visitor complex’s offerings.
“IBCCES is honored to partner with Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to help more families create treasured memories and enjoy all the amazing experiences at the visitor complex. Addressing this global need for more accessibility is critical, and we are proud to provide comprehensive support and certification, working alongside our industry partners to lead the way,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.
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