Visalia, California (KFSN) — Visalia is taking action to make it easier for people with autism to enjoy all that the region has to offer.
Named the first accredited autism destination in the country by the International Board of Accreditation and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).
The city prides itself on being a welcoming community. It now leads the way when it comes to attracting and supporting the often-forgotten group of travelers.
“There are wheelchair ramps for people with limited mobility, but those with hidden disabilities like autism are a little more difficult to deal with, so I wanted to face it head-on,” says Visit. Visalia explained. Suzanne Bianco, Director of Tourism Marketing.
According to a recent study by Autism Travel, 87% of families with children with autism do not travel, but 93% are more likely to travel if they have an autism certification option.
During the past year and a half, Visit Visalia has taken action to get its tourism partners trained and certified by IBCCES in Autism and Sensory Disorder Sensitivity and Awareness.
“We changed that, welcomed, understood, and thought it really needed local staff to understand the challenges they might face and be ready to help with it. rice field.
Families can take advantage of Visit Visalia’s Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program. This is an easy way to self-identify that you need a little extra help. For example, Visit her Visalia accommodation partner can help a family member during check-in.
“Staff can expedite check-in if possible or move families to a quieter area of the hotel so they can complete the check-in process and return to their rooms immediately,” Bianco said.
The Visalia area has several sensory-friendly restaurants and attractions for families. The city also plans to host sensory-friendly events in the near future.
For more information on how Visit Visalia supports individuals with autism, please visit our website.
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