Downtown Visalians Merchant Association Earns Certified Autism Center™ Designation

Activity in Downtown Visalian

Downtown Visalians is now a Certified Autism Center™, a designation granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation means that staff have completed training and certification to better understand autistic individuals or those with sensory needs. Downtown Visalians joins a number of local tourism and hospitality organizations to complete the program as part of a community-wide effort started by Visit Visalia.

Downtown Visalians are now part of a movement to make Visalia a Certified Autism Destination (CAD), for which Visit Visalia served as the catalyst and requires multiple entertainment, recreation, and hotel venues to complete the training and certification process.

Annual Taste of Downtown in Visalia

“Because of who we represent as the caretakers for Downtown Visalia, it’s imperative to who we are to ensure everyone coming into our area feels welcome. Becoming a CAC is an honor for us and a great opportunity to continue our part in making that happen. Continuing to learn and grow is at the core of our organization, and this is a great step for us to take in our journey in inclusivity,” said Steve Nelsen, Executive Director/CEO of Downtown Visalia.

Parade in Downtown Visalia

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism and cognitive training and certification for education, healthcare, hospitality and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES created the CAC designation to provide knowledge and ongoing supports to organizations who want to provide a better experience for autistic visitors or those with sensory sensitivities. Millions of individuals and families are looking for locations where they can feel welcomed and understood, and seek out organizations that have completed a formal certification program through IBCCES to help ensure they have a more positive experience.

“We are truly excited to partner Downtown Visalians to help build a more inclusive community in Visalia. This designation shows their commitment to providing the best experience and service for residents and visitors alike,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.

Horse Ride in Downtown Visalia

IBCCES provides evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with clinical experts and autistic self-advocates to provide professionals serving individuals with cognitive differences a better understanding of these disorders, industry best practices, and the latest research in these areas.

IBCCES also created as a free online resource for families that lists certified locations including Visit Visalia and Valley Oak Golf Course in Visalia. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.

Interested In Find Out More About Becoming Certified?

Fill out the form below to learn more about the Certified Autism Center™ program


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