The people who brought you the award-winning “Sesame Street” announced Monday that Sesame Place has become the world’s first theme park to receive a certified autism center designation.
The theme park has completed staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training to receive certification by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This makes Sesame Place the only theme park to receive such a distinction.
The certification comes as the park prepares for its 38th season, opening on April 28, 2018. It also aligns with National Autism Awareness Month.
What does it mean?
As a Certified Autism Center the park will provide:
- Ongoing training so that theme park employees have the skills, temperament and expertise to interact with all families and children with special needs, specifically those on the autism spectrum.
- Training in the areas of sensory awareness, environment, communication, motor and social skills, program development, and emotional awareness as well as a comprehensive autism competency exam. (The autism training must be taken every two years in order to maintain the certification.)
Increasing awareness and understanding autism
Sesame Place’s certification aligns with Sesame Workshop’s commitment to increasing understanding about autism. “Sesame Street” introduced audiences to Julia last spring.
The muppet is “Sesame Street’s” first autistic character. She will be a walkabout character at the park and available to meet and greet guests.
The park is developing more programs this season for guests to interact with the popular character. Scott Chambers, Senior Vice President and General Manager, North America Media and Licensing, Sesame Workshop, said in a news release:
“Since her debut, “Sesame Street’s” Julia has touched the lives of millions of children and families around the world and we’re proud that partners like Sesame Place are committed to providing autism-friendly experiences. We applaud them for earning this distinction.”
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