Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Continues Partnership with IBCCES to Hold the Certified Autism Center™ Designation and Enhance Accessibility

The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) continues its partnership with the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to maintain the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) credential and enhance accessibility options for all patrons. IBCCES grants this designation and requires 80% or more of all public-facing staff to complete a training and certification program to better understand and welcome autistic or sensory-sensitive guests and their families. The arts center recently renewed its commitment to meeting the Certified Autism Center™ standards since becoming certified in 2020

Since being awarded the Certified Autism Center™ accolade, Dr. Phillips Center has expanded its accessibility efforts to ensure every guest enjoys the same quality experience while in the venue to stay true to their vision of Arts For Every Life® and mission of being a welcoming place where people love to be. In addition to being autism certified, Dr. Phillips Center offers guests who are deaf or hard of hearing opportunities to enjoy shows through various resources, including American Sign Language translators, assisted listening devices, and captioning. As part of this commitment, the team is also in the process of reimagining their sensory-friendly rooms to provide a variety of resources that will be available on a need basis across any performance or event.

“One of the most rewarding parts of our journey is continuing to increase accessibility to the arts for guests from every walk of life, including our sensory-sensitive community,” said Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of the Dr. Phillips Center. “We are grateful for our ongoing partnership and training opportunities offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.”

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Additionally, Dr. Phillips Center offers sensory-friendly programming opportunities at the arts center, which include:

The Second City Residency: Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theater, The Second City, comes to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts each year with their show. Along with this comedy programming, they also host two workshops (Advanced Improvisation and Improv for Students on the Autism Spectrum) in the AdventHealth School of the Arts. Twenty students participate in the workshops and perform during the Second City weekend performances. Kathie and Bill Hohns generously support these workshops.
Inclusive acting classes: 8- to 12-year-old students on the autism spectrum can explore the arts in a fun, supportive environment.
Pilobolus @ Play residency: A week-long program where middle and high schoolers of various abilities or needs create a performance with artists from Pilobolus dance company—then showcase their piece on-stage in Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater.

“IBCCES is truly excited to continue to partner with the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts as they enhance the visitor experience and ensure there are a variety of accessible options for all patrons,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “With the recent CDC update of 1 in 36 children being diagnosed with autism in the United States, the demand for more trained and certified options like Dr. Phillips Center is at an all-time high.”

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For over 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 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. 

About Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in downtown Orlando supported by the City of Orlando, Orange County, the City of Winter Park, the State of Florida and generous donors and sponsors. The 698,312-square-foot venue includes the grand 2,711-seat Walt Disney Theater, the community-theater style 296-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, the new adaptable 1,464–1,770-seat Steinmetz Hall and, opening in 2023, the dynamic cabaret-style music room Judson’s. In addition, the venue has various versatile event spaces like the DeVos Family Room, the Rooftop Terrace and the 3-acre outdoor Seneff Arts Plaza. In addition, the arts center’s AdventHealth School of Arts offers classes, camps and pre-professional productions. For more information, visit drphillipscenter.org. Follow on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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.

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