SeaWorld, DoubleTree, hilton

WHY IT RATES: Travelers with autism or those hitting the road with someone dealing with Autism will be happy to learn about a hotel in Orlando doing its best to support them.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.

DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, spanning 28 acres within the heart of International Drive, has completed the certification programming required to earn the Certified Autism Center designation. This designation is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and ensures staff have the best training to provide guests with autism, or other sensory needs, an experience tailored to their needs.

DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld joins their neighboring partners and fellow Certified Autism Centers SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove to become an inclusive destination for all.

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Families with children on the autism spectrum often face hurdles when it comes to planning for a vacation, or weekend getaway, due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions, and safety concerns. The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld priority is creating meaningful moments to make guests feel special, and the CAC designation aligns seamlessly with this commitment.

“DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld is pleased to be among the first Orlando resorts to operate as a Certified Autism Center,” said Harold Bassler, general manager of the DoubleTree resort. “With the completion of the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education training program, our property is now in compliance with all certification requirements, and our associates are trained to provide even more memorable experiences for all of our guests, including those with autism and other special needs. This notable achievement allows us to continue in our mission to offer service exceeding every guest’s expectation.”

For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism and cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families and individuals who have special needs have limited travel options. In response to this need, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry. While research shows that travel is one of the most intellectually stimulating events for individuals on the autism spectrum, there are still few trained and certified travel options for parents looking for destinations able to accommodate their needs. More parents are seeking out destinations that have completed research-based training and professional review as they review search for options.

“IBCCES is delighted that families and visitors to SeaWorld Parks and Hotels Orlando may now enjoy a fully inclusive experience provided by this network of Certified Autism Centers,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairperson. “We know how important certification and training is for these destinations to provide the best possible experience for all visitors.”

IBCCES also created, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center (CAC) requirements.

For more information, reach out to your local travel agent.

SOURCE: DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando press release.