The creators of beloved and award-winning “Sesame Street” addressed the public Monday about Sesame Place, the world’s first theme park to receive a certified autism center designation. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) gave the designation for the thorough, staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training given to all park employees.
The certification preludes the 38th season of the park, opening April 28, 2018, during National Autism Awareness Month. “Sesame Street” and Sesame Place both hope to generate an autism-friendly experience, helped by the roll-out of the Julia, “Sesame Street’s” first autistic character.
Scott Chambers, Senior Vice President and General Manager, North America Media and Licensing, Sesame Workshop, said in a press release,“Since her debut, “Sesame Street’s” Julia has touched the lives of millions of children and families around the world and we’re proud that partners like Sesame Place are committed to providing autism-friendly experiences. We applaud them for earning this distinction.”
Sesame Place hopes to give their employees the skills, temperament, and resources necessary to provide a safe, fun and educational space to all children. The specific training to accommodate children on the spectrum exemplifies Sesame Place’s commitment to increase understanding about autism. In addition, the park provides a range of amenities to cater to the special needs of families with children on the spectrum, including: quiet rooms, low sensory areas, noise-cancelling headphones, and a ride accessibility guide. These steps represent a significant bonus compared to most theme parks which can be a sensory overload.