GOAA Achieves Certified Autism Center™ Designation to Better Serve All Visitors

Press Release
GOAA Achieves Certified Autism Center™ Designation to Better Serve All Visitors The first of its kind in Florida to complete the IBCCES program

ORLANDO, Fla. – In its commitment to excel in response to customer needs, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority has undergone the conscientious process to become a Certified Autism Center™. The designation is awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and highlights GOAA’s dedication to accessibility as well as a responsibility to better understand and assist autistic or sensory-sensitive individuals as they travel.

“As our passenger traffic steadily increases, we have a responsibility to foster an environment where all visitors feel welcomed and comfortable in the airport’s bustling surrounding,” said Kevin J. Thibault, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which manages Orlando International Airport. “We are committed to embracing a better understanding and knowledge of how to effectively communicate and provide assistance to our guests with autistic and sensory-sensitive needs, and this training for our staff will help us to better lean into that commitment.”

As part of the CAC process, GOAA staff completed training on how to better serve autistic and sensory-sensitive travelers, and an onsite review was conducted by IBCCES to provide a roadmap of additional accommodations or supports that can be offered to travelers in the near future. Ranked the seventh busiest airport in the U.S. and the busiest in Florida in terms of enplanements, Orlando International Airport (MCO) is served by 41 passenger airlines and offers nonstop flights to 171 destinations worldwide. MCO has an on-site hotel, ten rental car agencies, several aircraft maintenance facilities and more than 170 food, beverage, and retail locations. Orlando International also offers the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program, which is for all hidden disabilities, including autism. A low-sensory room is in the works and will undergo review soon.

Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman, commends the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority for their dedication in achieving the Certified Autism Center™ designation. “This is such a huge step toward making travel more accessible and we’re thrilled to continue our work with GOAA as they lead the way in Florida and worldwide. ” For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES created programs specifically for hospitality, travel, and entertainment organizations, such as hotels, theme parks, museums and other attractions to ensure staff would be more knowledgeable and other accommodations could be offered to this growing, but underserved, part of the community. IBCCES is the only credentialing board offering these types of programs, which include training from subject matter experts and autistic self-advocates, as well as long-term support, continuous learning and more.

IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.

About The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is proud to operate Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Orlando Executive Airport (ORL), two of Florida’s premier air travel gateways. MCO is a world-class global connector, serving more than 58 million annual passengers in its three terminals. ORL is conveniently located just miles from downtown Orlando and provides vital general aviation access to the heart of the region.

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.