HomeBensalem TimesSesame Place renews Certified Autism Center designation

Sesame Place renews Certified Autism Center designation

This designation was first given in 2018 by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education

All about acceptance: Julia, a 4-year-old autistic Muppet, is available for meet & greets throughout April at Sesame Place. Submitted Photo

In the midst of National Autism Acceptance Month, Sesame Place announced its renewed commitment to ensuring an enjoyable experience at the Langhorne theme park for autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors.  

Recently, Sesame Place was recertified by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards as a Certified Autism Center. It first received this designation in 2018, becoming the first theme park in the world to do so.

Additionally, in 2022, Sesame Place San Diego became the first theme park in the world to open as a CAC and, this year, was also recertified. 

To maintain its CAC designation, Sesame Place completes an onsite review by IBCCES every two years. Certification and renewal involves extensive specialized training for employees, focusing on sensory awareness, motor skills, program development, communication and emotional awareness, all of which helps them enhance the onsite experience for guests. 

For 2024, Sesame Place Ambassadors completed additional certifications in neurodiversity, as well as related first responder training to expand their skills and knowledge, supplementing IBCCES’ standard training for CACs. 

Over the years, Sesame Place has expanded its amenities to better serve autistic attendees, including quiet rooms and low-sensory rooms; ride accessibility programs; sensory guides for various rides, attractions and shows; noise-canceling headphones for single-day use; low-sensory parade viewing and dining options; and family care centers and adult changing tables. 

“We are proud of the partnership between our Sesame Place parks and IBCCES, which allows us to best support the needs of all guests,” said Cathy Valeriano, park president of Sesame Place Philadelphia. “We’ve made many enhancements to the park as a result of our partnership with IBCCES and are committed to providing a meaningful and memorable experience for everyone.” 

During Autism Acceptance Month, Sesame Place is giving away free Sesame Street story books dedicated to showing that all children are special in their own ways. The titles include A Little Bit Different, A Little Bit the Same and We’re Amazing: 1,2,3!. Story books are available on operating days through the month of April, or while supplies last. 

In addition to this, Julia, a 4-year-old autistic Muppet from Sesame Street and the face of Sesame Workshop’s “Sesame Street and Autism: Amazing in All Children” initiative, is available for meet & greets throughout April. The smiling, orange-haired Julia joined Elmo and friends on Sesame Street in 2015 and made her debut at Sesame Place in 2017.

Myron Pincomb, chairman of the IBCCES board, praised the park for its work: “Since 2018, Sesame Place has set a commendable example for other organizations in the industry, and we’re thrilled to see their team’s continued commitment and dedication. We take pride in continuing our partnership to promote a welcoming environment for all.” 

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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