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Monday,  February 26, 2024 3:30 AM 

Discover The Palm Beaches activates program for accessible tourism

Discover The Palm Beaches activates program for accessible tourism
Palm Beach, Florida. (Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)
Pax Global Media

Discover The Palm Beaches has implemented an accessibility program aimed at bettering the community’s preparedness to welcome all travellers, no matter their ability level.

The accessibility plan focuses on enhancing information and resources through partnerships and assessments with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), Wheel the World and Travelability.

The goal is to help the destination improve accessibility for all travellers by identifying places to stay and things to do, educating partners and providing resources for adaptability.

Kicking off the program, Discover The Palm Beaches, which represents the 39 cities in Palm Beach County, earned the Certified Autism Center designation, granted by IBCCES to organizations having successfully completed extensive autism-specific training and certification from leading experts to ensure all families with autism or other sensory-sensitives are understood and properly accommodated.

READ MORE: Golf, Gucci, deals & diversity: more Canadians are flocking to The Palm Beaches

This milestone marks the first step for The Palm Beaches in its journey to become a Certified Autism Destination, further establishing its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.

"The Palm Beaches prides itself on being a warm and welcoming destination for all," stated Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches. "Becoming an Autism Certified Center is just one way to showcase our commitment to learning and evolving to better serve this travel sector. We look forward to expanding this certification to our partners and improving the options for sensory-sensitive travellers in The Palm Beaches."

Through the larger accessibility-focused program, various area attractions, hotels, recreation and entertainment venues will complete autism and sensory training and certification, as well as on-site reviews, and have long-term access to other support. 

READ MORE: On Location - “If these palms could talk”: Agents unpack history, culture (and glam) in The Palm Beaches

This process and designation ensures concrete steps are in place to enhance the experience for autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors, so they feel safe and enjoy a more welcoming environment. 

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education and corporate professionals worldwide.

It is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based training as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other tools and resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations, and renewal requirements to ensure the program is a long-term commitment that has a lasting impact.

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

Canada is The Palm Beaches’ number one international market – and the numbers are increasing.  

The destination, in the first quarter of this year, reported close to 154,000 Canadian arrivals, which is 28 per cent more than 2022 and 16 per cent higher than 2019.

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