St. Augustine Sailing achieves the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation from The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This certification is given to organizations that have committed to ongoing efforts to create a welcoming, inclusive and accommodating environment for autistic and sensory-sensitive guests and their families. To earn this designation, staff undergo an autism-specific training and certification program to better equip the organization with the necessary skills and resources to provide the best experience possible for all guests.
“The Autism Certification program is very important to St. Augustine Sailing for several reasons, and my decision to pursue it aligns with our organization’s commitment to inclusivity, community engagement and our core values,” says Rose Ann Points, captain and owner of St. Augustine Sailing. “The program reflects our dedication to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all individuals, regardless of their neurodiversity. By becoming certified, St. Augustine Sailing demonstrates its commitment to understanding and accommodating the needs of individuals with autism, and we can adapt our programs to ensure that autistic individuals can fully participate in and benefit from our sailing experiences.”
By completing the CAC program, St. Augustine Sailing joins the greater St. Johns County movement to achieve the Certified Autism Destination™ (CAD) designation, which IBCCES also awards to communities with a multitude of trained and certified lodging, entertainment options, and service organizations. Some of the organizations that have completed the CAC program include the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, St. John County Visitors & Convention Bureau, Old Town Trolley Tours® & Attractions of St. Augustine which includes Old Town Trolley Tours®, Old Jail, Oldest Store Museum Experience, St. Augustine History Museum, and Potter’s Wax Museum, with many other organizations, attractions and hotels in the area also certified and others in the process of completion.
“It was an amazing training!” exclaims Toste Muniz, officer manager and yacht sales person for St. Augustine Sailing. “I am so happy I had the opportunity to get certified and am now in a position with the knowledge of how I can help those with autism have the best experience when visiting St. Augustine Sailing.”
In addition to training and certification, St. Augustine Sailing offers a variety of sensory-friendly options to make everyone’s time on the water more enjoyable. Fidget toys and sensory tools are available on board to help sensory-sensitive individuals self-regulate and feel more at ease with the sailing experience. St. Augustine Sailing has created low sensory areas on property where individuals can find a calm and quiet atmosphere, if they need a break before or after the sail. Dietary options are available for people with various dietary restrictions or preferences. St. Augustine Sailing also offers private sailing experiences for those who prefer minimal noise and a more peaceful environment. Videos about the experience are available to reduce anxiety and uncertainty by offering a clear understanding and providing more information about what to expect during the sailing experience.
“We’re excited to welcome St. Augustine Sailing as a Certified Autism Center™,” shares Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman. “This designation shows their efforts to create a welcome and safe space for all their guests, and we’re proud to partner with them to create such an environment with our training program and ongoing support. This designation is also another step closer to helping St. Johns County become a Certified Autism Destination™ which is awarded to communities that offer a multitude of accessible and accommodating options to autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals and their families.”
IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe for more than 20 years. IBCCES is the only global credentialing board providing travel and entertainment organizations with training and certification from subject-matter experts and autistic self-advocates, and other resources, as well as long-term support that helps them understand how to better accommodate and assist autistic or sensory-sensitive visitors and their families.
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for families 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 St. Augustine Sailing
St. Augustine Sailing Enterprises is a luxury adventure experience that offers a variety of sailing excursions to fit any occasion and budget. They offer private charters that can be customized to create a unique experience. Popular options include private chef-prepared meals, premium beer and wine upgrades, and overnight adventures. St. Augustine Sailing also offers sailing lessons and membership in SailTime, a club allowing members to rent a boat at franchises nationwide. For more information on their programs, visit https://www.sta-sail.com. Follow along on social media @StAugustineSailing.
Committed to providing 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.