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21 Feb 2020 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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12 Feb 2020

Six Flags earns Certfied Autism Center status at all 26 destinations
BY Lauren Heath-Jones

80 per cent of Six Flags' customer-facing staff will undertake IBCCES training to understand Austism Spectrum Disorder

80 per cent of Six Flags' customer-facing staff will undertake IBCCES training to understand Austism Spectrum Disorder

Six Flags will become one of the first theme park chains to earn Certified Autism Center (CAC) status across all 26 of its locations.

CAC status is awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). It aims to make visitor experiences easier and more comfortable for guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or sensory sensitivities, who can become distressed when visiting new places.

It requires that at least 80 per cent of customer-facing staff at Six Flags complete a training programme through IBCCES that will focus on understanding ASD, guest experience and safety, as well as offering strategies to foster effective communication.

As a CAC, Six Flags will also need to provide:

• A sensory guide for each ride and attraction, empowering guests to make informed choices about the experience and their comfort levels.

• Special in-park sensory spaces, where guests with sensory needs can relax in a less stimulating environment.

• Expanded culinary options to meet guests' dietary needs (e.g. gluten-free menu items).
An updated Accessibility Guide, accessible at sixflags.com and at Guest Relations and Ride Information Centres at each park.

Additionally, Six Flags has committed to ongoing training and complete onsite audits, as well as agreed to implement IBCCES Accessibility Cards at its parks.

"We're proud to partner with IBCCES to ensure that guests on the autistic spectrum have the best possible experience when visiting our parks," said Six Flags' VP of Safety Jason Freeman.

"The certification process will equip our team members with the tools and training needed to better serve guests with special needs. We want them to know Six Flags stands ready to welcome them with open arms."

Myron Pincomb, board chair at IBCCES, said: "So many families just need more communication and understanding from parks and other attractions, so they can make those memories together that we all cherish. In some cases, small changes can make a huge impact, and our certification programme ensures each park is committed to long-term growth, and understanding, not just one-time training."

"As a person on the spectrum, it is exciting to see more parks taking the extra steps to accommodate all guests," said Dr Stephen Shore.

"The commitment Six Flags is making to a true certification process is impressive and means so much to millions of individuals and families. Creating family memories and recreation are essential for both individuals with ASD and their families as a whole."




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