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Posted on: December 7, 2023

City of St. Augustine Visitor Information Center Completes Autism Training

AutismCertificateHPS

Certification recognition scheduled for Thursday, December 14

The City of St. Augustine Visitor Information Center (VIC) will be recognized by the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce for completing autism training from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and will be recognized now as a registered Certified Autism Center™ (CAC).  This credential is awarded to organizations that show their ongoing dedication to creating an environment that welcomes, supports, and accommodates all visitors.  To earn the designation, staff undergo a comprehensive training and certification program to ensure they are equipped with the best practices and resources to assist every person, including autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors.

 

Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline commented, “It is so important for the city to join this effort being brought forward by our Chamber of Commerce, to demonstrate our commitment to being an inclusive city, recognizing the diverse needs of all our visitors.” 

 

By completing the CAC program, the VIC is part of the greater St. Johns County movement to achieve the Certified Autism Destination™ (CAD) designation, which IBCCES also awards to communities with a multitude of trained and certified lodging, entertainment options and service organizations.  The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, the St Augustine, Ponte Vedra & the Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau, along with many other organizations, attractions and hotels in the area also have completed the certification program.

 

Isabelle Renault, President and CEO of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce offered her congratulations, saying “With the City of St. Augustine Visitor Information Center team having completed the training, this takes us another step further in caring for our guests on the autism spectrum. Thank you to the City for joining leaders in the community in advancing this initiative to become a certified destination.”

 

“We are proud of the City of St. Augustine Visitor Information Center for putting in the effort to become a Certified Autism Center™, as they recognize the importance of having inclusive and accessible options for every person that visits the city,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman. “To add to the achievement, this designation brings St. Johns County a step closer to becoming a Certified Autism Destination™ and increasing accessibility throughout the entire county.” 

 

IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe for more than 20 years. IBCCES is the only global credentialing board providing travel and entertainment organizations with training and certification from subject-matter experts and autistic self-advocates, and other resources, as well as long-term support that helps them understand how to better accommodate and assist autistic or sensory-sensitive visitors and their families. 

 

IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for families that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.

 

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About City of St. Augustine Visitor Information Center

For half a century, visitors to St. Augustine have made the St. Augustine and St. Johns County Visitor Information Center their first stop upon arriving in the Nation’s Oldest City. Commonly known as the “VIC,” the center offers: brochures and guidebooks for the area’s attractions, clean restrooms, a gift shop, and information on special and cultural events.

 

Ample parking is available right next door at the Historic Downtown Parking Facility, located at 1 Cordova St.  

 

About IBCCES

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 disorders.

 

Media Contact for IBCCES:

Meredith Tekin, President

Phone: 904.508.0135 / 904.434.1534

Email: meredith@ibcces.org

 

For media inquiries, contact Melissa Wissel, Communications Director, at 904.293.3307 or via email at mwissel@citystaug.com.

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