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Visit Visalia Becomes Autism Certified Center

Visit Visalia announced it is the first California destination marketing organization designated a “Certified Autism Center” by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This new distinction is a result of the organization’s staff and governing board of directors completing specialized training in common behaviors and sensory considerations associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD.) This training expands the team’s readiness to assist families and individuals with special needs to prepare for and to enjoy inclusive and accessible travel to Visalia and the nearby Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. The parks has released an accessibility video series demonstrating how travelers with special needs can experience the parks. Autism affects a significant number of people, with diagnoses each year on the rise with about 1 in 54 children identified as having ASD according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. As the first destination marketing organization in California to achieve this designation, Visit Visalia is taking the lead requesting partner hospitality businesses invest in this specialized training. To date, the local hospitality partner businesses that have signed on to complete autism sensitivity training and awareness include the Comfort Suites Visalia Hotel, Hampton Inn Visalia, Visalia Marriott at the Convention Center, Valley Oaks Golf Course, Visalia Wyndham, Lamp Liter Inn, Naturally Nuts, and Visalia Adventure Park. Visit Visalia is also initiating a movement with the help of IBCCES to become a Certified Autism Destination (CAD.) The CAD designation is awarded to destinations where key community areas, including hotels, museums, attractions, entertainment venues, and other tourism organizations are trained and certified to better serve autistic individuals and those with other sensory disorders. Visit Visalia’s team is taking the first steps to help build a more inclusive community. For more information on inclusive and accessible travel to Visalia and the nearby Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, go to