1 out of 36 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States and 1 in 6 people have a sensory need or sensitivity. To better serve all our visitors and patrons, including autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals, the Bettendorf Public Library and the Family Museum – which make up the Bettendorf Learning Campus – are both now a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC).
Many autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals may find it challenging to visit new places due to lack of staff understanding, the potential for sensory overload, and the need for flexible options or accommodations. In response to this need, the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) created training and certification programs specifically for museums, attraction, hotels, and other community centers to ensure all families and individuals can have fun and make lasting memories. IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource that lists certified options and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site is a CAC.
“IBCCES is excited to work with Bettendorf Learning Campus to make sure autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors and their families can create cherished memories while enjoying the inclusive options at both the Family Museum and the Bettendorf Public Library,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.“Our programs offer long-term support, including ongoing training and additional resources, to assist the Bettendorf Learning Campus in realizing its goals of delivering accessible options for the entire community.”
The CAC certification requires training and certification of at least 80% of public-facing staff in autism and sensory differences. The certification must be renewed every two years. This is the Family Museum’s second time recertifying as a CAC and the Bettendorf Public Library’s first time.
“The Family Museum is committed to providing a highly trained staff to improve the experience and learning environment for autistic individuals and those with other neurodivergencies, as well as their families,” said Kim Kidwell, Culture & Recreation Director.
“The Bettendorf Public Library’s mission is to provide open and equal access to everyone in our community in a welcoming and inclusive space,”said Jillian Aschliman, Library Director. “It only made sense for the Library to also undergo the same training and certification as the Family Museum to create sensory-friendly environments as individuals and families continue their life-long learning journeys in both neighboring facilities.”
The Family Museum has implemented several new practices and programs since their training, including adding additional Special Needs Nights, guiding parents on where to find local resources and services, and adding additional sensory kits and quiet spaces.
The Bettendorf Public Library has print and electronic resources focused on autism and neurodivergent topics and will soon be offering sensory kits at each of the library’s service desks for in-house use, as well as circulating sensory kits as part of the library’s materials collection.
About the Bettendorf Public Library Information Center: Located at 2950 Learning Campus Drive, the Bettendorf Public Library’s Mission is “Committed to providing access to information and ideas for all.” For more information, visit www.bettendorflibrary.com or call (563) 344-4175.
About the Family Museum of Arts and Sciences: Located at 2900 Learning Campus Drive, the Family Museum’s Mission is “With an emphasis on role play and interactive learning, we invite families to Play and Learn Together!” For more information, visit www.familymuseum.org or call (563) 344-4106.
About the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards: “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 neurodiversity.
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.