Organization now recognized as a Certified Autism Center™
West Palm Beach, Fla. [June 27, 2023] – Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County, Florida, proudly announces the implementation of an accessibility program aimed at bettering the community’s preparedness to welcome all travelers, no matter their ability level. The accessibility plan focuses on enhancing information and resources through strategic partnerships and assessments with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), Wheel the World and Travelability. The goal is to help the destination improve accessibility for all travelers by identifying places to stay and things to do, educating partners and providing resources for adaptability.
Kicking off the program, Discover The Palm Beaches earned the Certified Autism Center™ designation, granted by IBCCES to organizations having successfully completed extensive autism-specific training and certification from leading experts to ensure all families with autism or other sensory-sensitives are understood and properly accommodated. This important milestone marks the first step for The Palm Beaches in its journey to become a Certified Autism Destination™, further establishing its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.
“The Palm Beaches prides itself on being a warm and welcoming destination for all,” stated Jorge Pesquera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Discover The Palm Beaches. “Becoming an Autism Certified Center™ is just one way to showcase our commitment to learning and evolving to better serve this travel sector. We look forward to expanding this certification to our partners and improving the options for sensory-sensitive travelers in The Palm Beaches.”
Many autistic individuals and their families want to travel but may worry they will not be understood, welcomed, or have access to accommodations, attractions and other points of interest. Through the larger accessibility-focused program initiated by Discover The Palm Beaches to become a Certified Autism Destination™, partnerships with various area attractions, hotels, recreation and entertainment venues will complete autism and sensory training and certification, as well as onsite reviews, and have long-term access to other support. This process and designation ensures concrete steps are in place to enhance the experience for autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors, so they feel safe and enjoy a more welcoming environment. With 1 in 6 people having a sensory need or sensitivity and 1 in 36 children diagnosed with autism in the United States, the demand for more trained and certified options is at an all-time high.
“It is crucial now more than ever to provide a deeper understanding of autistic and sensory-sensitive travelers’ needs to travel and entertainment organizations to better equip their staff to offer the best possible service and experiences to all visitors,” emphasized Myron Pincomb, Board Chairman of IBCCES. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Discover The Palm Beaches as they strengthen their commitment to accessibility ensuring that a wider range of travelers can forge unforgettable experiences together. Our certification programs and long-term support options will play a pivotal role in achieving this goal.”
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, as a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ requirements.
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 differences.
About Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches is the official 501(c)(6) not-for-profit, accredited tourism marketing organization that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns commonly referred to as The Palm Beaches, which spans more than 2,300 square miles and boasts 47 miles of pristine beaches from Highland Beach and Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. Tasked with growing visitation and the local tourism economy, the organization works year-round to bring travelers from around the state, country and globe to visit Palm Beach County. The Palm Beaches have a rich history in hospitality as America’s First Resort Destination® and tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, generating $9.7 billion in economic impact during 2022.
The Palm Beaches are home to more than 19,100 hotel rooms and feature more than 100 family-friendly attractions, an abundance of world-class luxury, award-winning restaurants, and 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, including 160 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current. 160 golf courses have earned it the moniker of Florida’s Golf Capital®, as well as The Cultural Capital of Florida® due to its thriving entertainment scene of more than 200 art and culture organizations. Situated along I-95, The Palm Beaches are accessible via Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), which offers more than 200 daily nonstop flights across the United States and seasonal lift to/from Canada. The Palm Beaches are also conveniently located within driving distance of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International airports.
For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit www.ThePalmBeaches.com or on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok). Visitors and residents can take advantage of county-wide deals via The Palm Beaches Savings Pass. They can also tune in to The Palm Beaches TV for 24/7 streaming content of the destination’s hotels, attractions, restaurants and experiences.
Discover The Palm Beaches, PR@ThePalmBeaches.com
Meredith Tekin, President, Meredith@ibcces.org