Visalia ALMOST a Certified Autism Destination

Dated: August 18 2022

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With the addition of five additional certified autism centers in Visalia, the city only needs one more business certification to be considered a Certified Autism Destination.


In September, Visit Visalia was announced as the first DMO in California to receive the designation of "Certified Autism Center." This distinction was granted by the IBCCES, an organization that sets standards for continuing education and training in autism. The organization's staff and board of directors completed training sessions related to sensory considerations and common behaviors of people with autism.


The training provided by the organization allowed the staff members to better assist individuals and families with special needs in planning travel to the city of Visalia and the nearby Kings Canyon National Park. In response to the increasing number of people with special needs who visit the parks, the parks have released videos showing how they can accommodate these individuals.


Visit Visalia then announced that three local attractions and two hotels in the city had been added to the Certified Autism Centers (CAC) list. These establishments and facilities had to meet the requirements of the IBCCES to be considered a CAC. Each facility or organization must have at least 80% of staff trained and prepared to serve individuals with autism. 


With twelve total organizations in Visalia that now meet CAC requirements, Visalia is still not ready to be classified as a Certified Autism Destination (CAD). According to Suzanne Bianco, the Tourism Marketing Director of Visit Visalia, the city only needs one more business to be certified as a Certified Autism Destination. The organization is currently working with one final group to find a way that would allow them to achieve this goal.


Through its partnership with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), Visit Visalia has provided training to local businesses interested in becoming certified as an autism destination. These training sessions have allowed the staff members at these establishments to improve their skills and knowledge in serving the unique needs of individuals with autism.


Using, the IBCCES provided free resources to families with special needs who are looking for certified accommodations and services to meet their needs. All businesses and organizations listed on the site have completed the CAC requirements. 

For more information about accommodations and services in Visalia that are accessible to people with special needs, visit

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Erik & Karol Anderson

Erik and Karol Anderson were born and raised in Tulare County, and proudly own and operate the Anderson Real Estate Group, Visalia's leading locally-owned independent brokerage. Th....

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