Arizona city recruits businesses to make it autism friendly

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 63
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Location: Long Island, New York

28 Apr 2019, 1:02 am

Mesa markets city as autism-friendly destination, recruits businesses to help

Mesa's tourism bureau is on a crusade to make the city a travel destination for families affected by autism.

Visit Mesa recently began recruiting businesses and city departments to train their staff through a nationally-recognized accreditation group, with the goal that Mesa would be recognized as the first autism-certified community in the United States.

More than 150 local businesses have expressed interest in autism training, and about 30 have either completed it or are in the process, according to Marc Garcia, Visit Mesa president and CEO.

The city is supporting the effort, Garcia said, with about 500 of its employees receiving autism training from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, a recognized leader in autism education and certification for professionals.

Also on board is the i.d.e.a. Museum in downtown Mesa, where kids can have a hands-on art museum experience. The museum is expecting a site visit from IBCCES in May for a facilities audit prior to employee training, said Yvette Armendariz, a museum spokesperson.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman