Six Flags to Become First Family of Parks to Earn Certified Autism Center™ Designation
Theme Parks to Implement Specialized Training to Better Serve Guests
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX), the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, today announced that each of its 26 parks will earn the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This initiative will mark the first-ever family of parks to earn the designation at all locations.
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“We are proud to partner with IBCCES to ensure that guests on the autism spectrum have the best possible experience when visiting our parks,” said Six Flags Vice President of Safety Jason Freeman. “The certification process will equip our team members with the tools and training needed to better serve guests with special needs. We want them to know Six Flags stands ready to welcome them with open arms.”
Many individuals and families with children on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities find it challenging when visiting new places or planning family trips. The potential for sensory overload combined with a lack of understanding and awareness at parks and other recreational venues can often be overwhelming.
The CAC designation from IBCCES, the only credentialing board providing these services for the amusement and attractions industry, requires that at least 80% of guest-facing staff at each park complete a training and certification program through IBCCES as well as complete onsite audits and make a commitment to ongoing training. The staff training focuses on understanding the autism spectrum and strategies for communication, guest experience, and safety, while the onsite audit will give each park techniques and guidance on additional updates.
As a Certified Autism Center, Six Flags parks will provide:
“As a person on the spectrum, it is exciting to see more parks taking the extra steps to accommodate all guests,” said Dr. Stephen Shore. “The commitment Six Flags is making to a true certification process is impressive and means so much to millions of individuals and families. Creating family memories and recreation are essential for both individuals with ASD and their families as a whole.”
For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children who have special needs have limited travel options. In response to this need, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for the attractions and travel industry. While many destinations tout “autism-friendly” options, this phrase means something different to everyone and does not necessarily indicate a true understanding or commitment to serving these guests.
Six Flags will also be the first network of parks to implement IBCCES’ Accessibility Card. The cards may be used during all Six Flag park visits. For more information on the Accessibility Card registration, visit www.accessibilitycard.org.
About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, with $1.5 billion in revenue and 26 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 59 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com.
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Delivering The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are the only training and certification programs endorsed by the largest grassroots autism organization in the world, The Autism Society of America, and recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.
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Meredith Tekin, President
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Source: Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
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