The City of Benson Visitor Center Becomes the First Certified Autism Center™ in Cochise County, Arizona

The City of Benson Visitor Center has earned the Certified Autism Center™ designation through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). IBCCES training and certification programs provide staff with the tools and resources to better understand and help create memorable experiences for autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors. 

“We saw a need to reach out and be a more inclusive visitor center to those on the autism spectrum,” shared Bob Nilson, director of the City of Benson Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center replicates the original Benson Train Depot established in 1880 by Southern Pacific. To further embrace its history of being a train town, the center offers a G-Scale Model Train Simulator that attracts train enthusiasts, including many autistic individuals who have a specialized interest in trains.

With 1 in 6 people having a sensory need or sensitivity and 1 in 44 children diagnosed with autism in the United States, the demand for more trained and certified options is at an all-time high. Since many autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals find it challenging to visit new places or plan family outings due to a lack of staff understanding, the potential for sensory overload, and the need for flexible options or accommodations, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for travel and recreation organizations to ensure there are more credible and understanding travel options. 

“We’re excited to work with the City of Benson Visitor Center so their team can provide positive interactions and accommodations for all visitors and residents. Our programs and long-term supports help organizations welcome all families and individuals so everyone can have peace of mind when visiting new places,” said 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 worldwide. IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based training as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other tools and resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations, and renewal requirements to ensure the program is a long-term commitment that has a lasting impact.

IBCCES also created, 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 City of Benson Visitor Center

The City of Benson Visitor Center is located in the heart of Benson, Arizona and the Gateway to Cochise County, connected to Historical Highway 80. The visitor center is a Train Deport replica of the original Benson Train Depot established in 1880 by Southern Pacific. They also are an Official AVIC Arizona Office of Tourism Visitor Center. 


Delivering The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.

Learn More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™

Fill out the form below to learn more about our CAC Program, which includes staff certifications, training options and center certification.


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