In an effort to be more accommodating to visitors and residents with autism, Myrtle Beach Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Department has completed a training and certification program through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Earning the designation of Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) ensures that Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation staff are better equipped to help create an inclusive environment and welcome visitors with autism and other sensory needs in park and recreation facilities. As part of the certification, IBCCES will also be conducting onsite reviews of key park spaces and recreation facilities to provide additional resources and recommendations.
“Here at the City of Myrtle Beach, we strive for inclusivity for all of our residents and visitors alike. We are so excited to work with the IBCCES and for our park and recreation facilities to become Certified Autism Centers™,” stated Dustin Jordan, Myrtle Beach Director of Parks, Recreation, & Sports Tourism. “We look forward to being able to better serve individuals and families with children on the autism spectrum to give them the best experience possible while visiting our beautiful city!”
The City of Myrtle Beach is a residential community and vacation destination at the heart of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of natural beauty on South Carolina’s northeastern coast. Its 30,000 permanent residents and millions of visitors enjoy the wide beaches, the warm weather and a wide range of entertainment, nightlife, golf, shopping, dining and live theatre.
“There is a growing need for more organizations to be able to properly welcome individuals and families with autism – our evidence-based training and certification programs help staff have more positive interactions with the local residents as well as visitors to Myrtle Beach,” says Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.
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 families with children who have special needs have limited travel and recreation options. In response to this need, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry. More families and individuals are seeking out destinations and organizations that have completed a certification program through an accredited source. IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based information as well as the perspectives of individuals with autism, alongside other tools and resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations, as well as renewal requirements to ensure the program is a long-term commitment and has a lasting impact.
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.