The Valentine Theatre is now a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC), a credential awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). To meet certification requirement, Theatre staff and volunteers completed training and certification to better understand and welcome autistic or sensory-sensitive visitors.
“The Valentine Theatre’s mission focuses on community and educational outreach. The opportunity for our staff and volunteers to receive this training and certification allows us to honor our mission with greater outreach and inclusion into our community. Working with our local school systems and families is now expanded in a way never before imagined, and we are honored to have the IBCCES accreditation,” said Jori Jex, Executive Director of The Valentine Theatre.
The need for autism-specific training among community and entertainment organizations has never been more important, with 1 in 44 children diagnosed with autism in the US (according to the CDC) and 1 in 6 people having a sensory need. IBCCES training and certification programs help ensure professionals in a variety of fields better understand how to communicate and assist autistic individuals within community or visiting.
“As more and more autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals and their families seek out locations where they will feel welcomed and understood, IBCCES is excited to work with the Valentine Theatre to help enhance their commitment to welcoming all visitors,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman.
In addition to the Certified Autism Center™ designation, the Valentine Theatre is committed to presenting inclusive and welcoming performances to all patrons. As part of that commitment, their Weekend Family Series is now sensory-friendly. The Series includes three to four annual performances presented by national and international professional touring groups on the Valentine’s Main Stage. Families are encouraged to bring their own calming and motivational systems for their children or loved ones with sensory sensitivities. Fidget tools and headphones are available to check out from the Box Office. The Founder’s Room located off of the Grand Lobby (mural) is a designated quiet space with soft seating and relaxing activities for those who need a space to retreat if feeling overloaded. Tickets for individual shows are $13 – $15 for children and $18 – $20 for adults. Discounted subscription rates are $42 for children ($10.50/show) and $62 for adults ($15.50/show). For tickets and more information on this season’s Family Series, please call (419) 242-2787 or visit www.valentinetheatre.com.
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 created programs specifically for the hospitality and recreational organizations such as hotels, theme parks, and other attractions so staff would be more knowledgeable and other accommodations offered to this growing, but underserved, part of the community. IBCCES is the only credentialing board offering these types of programs, which include training from subject matter experts and autistic self-advocates, as well as long-term support and continuous learning, onsite reviews, and more. 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 the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.
About The Valentine Theatre
The Valentine Theatre is a nearly 127-year-old 901-seat facility operated by the Toledo Cultural Arts Center, Inc. After a 21-year effort by the Board of Trustees and the community, the $28 million renovation was unveiled on October 9, 1999. Since the Gala re-opening, nearly 1,340,000 people have attended 2,760 international, national and area presentations, weddings and events.
In our nearly 25 years of operation, the theatre has been used by more than 50 community groups including the Toledo Symphony, Toledo Opera, Toledo Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Toledo, Toledo Jazz Society, Masterworks Chorale, University of Toledo, Central Catholic High School, St. John’s High School and many others.
The Valentine Theatre in its own presentation series has brought the widest variety of culturally and ethnically diverse attractions including Grigorovich Ballet, The Boys Choir of Harlem, Earl Klugh, Momix, Ramsey Lewis, Tango Buenos Aires, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The National Ballet of Bahia, Brazil, “On Golden Pond,” “Grease,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,” “CABARET” and many others.