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Visit Jacksonville Becomes First Autism-Certified Destination Marketing Organization In Florida

February 21st, 2023 · Leave a Comment

Visit Jacksonville is Florida’s first destination management organization to earn the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation. This designation, granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), recognizes organizations that have undergone staff training to better understand and meet the needs of autistic visitors and their families.

Visit Jacksonville president and CEO Michael Corrigan welcomed the designation, saying, “We’re proud to be the first destination marketing organization in the state of Florida to achieve the Certified Autism Center™ status, but we’re most proud to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all who visit Jacksonville.”

Visit Jacksonville operates three Visitor Centers: Jacksonville International Airport, Downtown Jacksonville at 100 North Laura Street, and the Beaches Museum in Jacksonville Beach, and also deploys a mobile Visitor Center that travels to various events state-wide.

Many autistic individuals and their families want to travel yet may worry they will not be understood, welcomed, or have access to accommodation needs. A recent survey of parents, families, and autistic individuals conducted by IBCCES discovered that 94% of respondents would take more vacations or visit more new places if they had access to autism-trained and certified options. Through community designation as a CAD, a selection of the city’s attractions, hotels, recreation, and entertainment organizations will complete autism and sensory training and certification, as well as onsite reviews, and have long-term access to other supports through IBCCES.

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