The CAC™ designation from IBCCES requires that at least 80% of guest-facing staff complete position-specific autism training and requires a commitment to ongoing training and renewal every 2 years. The park also underwent an onsite review by IBCCES, which includes the creation of sensory guide to help guests understand how each ride or attraction may impact the 5 senses.
“We’re excited for our team to participate in this opportunity. Knoebels offers free admission and parking, so our guests can enjoy a low-pressure experience in terms of the fact that they are welcome to come and go as they please,” said Rick Knoebel, co-owner of Knoebels. “It’s our hope that by providing this program, our team will be empowered to provide an even higher level of service for our guests who are on the autism spectrum or have other sensory needs.”
Knoebels will also host an Autism Awareness Day on June 6, 2021. On this day, park visitors can participate in a free scavenger hunt and sensory friendly activity areas will be set up throughout the park along with community organizations’ information booths. The park will offer a Family and Friends Meal that includes chicken fingers, hot dog, apple sauce, chips, cookies and a beverage. To register for the “Family and Friends Meal” and additional event information, visit www.knoebels.com/events.
IBCCES designed the CAC training and certification program in response to the need for more recreational and travel options where families and autistic individuals feel welcomed and understood. IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based training from experts as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other tools and resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations. The certification also has renewal requirements to ensure the program is a long-term commitment that has a lasting impact.
“Knoebels is a unique and family-friendly attraction already, so we were thrilled to help support the team’s commitment to welcome all visitors so even more families can make memories and have fun,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.
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.