Discovery Cove, Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), has announced the completion of a staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training as well as an onsite review of the park property and guest experience. The completion designates Discovery Cove as a Certified Autism Centre (CAC) as distinguished by IBCCES, making it the first all-inclusive day resort and animal interaction park in the U.S to be certified.
The certification follows sister parks Sesame Place, the first theme park in the world to reach this accreditation, and Aquatica Orlando, the first water park in the world to be accredited.
Discovery Cove is SeaWorld Entertainment’s day resort park, where guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel among thousands of tropical fish and rays and other unique animal interactions, all in a tropical setting of rocky lagoons, lush landscaping and white, sandy beaches. Working closely with IBCCES, the staff at Discovery Cove will be continually trained to assist guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families, to help ensure a positive experience during their visit. Guests will also be provided with specific information about each of the Discovery Cove experiences, along with in park accommodations to help them plan their day and make informed choices best suited to their individual needs.
Robust pre-visit planning resources will be added to the park’s website including a sensory guide developed by IBCCES. This sensory guide will make it easier for parents to plan activities that satisfy their child’s specific needs and accommodations by providing insight on how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense for each attraction. Added IBCCES’ Pincomb, pre-planning is vital for families in the autism community. “Having a comprehensive resource that allows families to plan their day and avoid the element of surprise is vital. Understanding what the park offers, from its experiences to available food selections, helps in making their day a success.
The park will also have a quiet space inside the park with adjustable lighting and a comfortable seating area for guests to take a break.