World Autism Awareness Day aims to increase people’s awareness about those with autism. This year, the awareness day is celebrated on April 2, 2021. Moreover, this year’s observance takes place in the midst of a public health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes. In particular, this pandemic has had a significant effect on those with autism. Hence, it seems a particularly poignant occasion to mark. This year, we are spotlighting a Belize resort, who have put autism at the forefront of their offerings. Ramon’s Village Resort, located in San Pedro, is a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). With certification, Ramon’s Village can offer guests with autism and other sensory needs the best possible stay or scuba diving experience.
Here is more information on what this certification means and how the resort achieved it.
Increasing accessibility for all
After learning many children with autism are calmed by water, Ramon’s decided to become certified. In order to achieve the CAC accreditation, Ramon’s staff completed evidence-based staff training. These certification requirements by IBCCES recognize the needs of guests on the spectrum and provide options for visitors with sensory needs.
Under its certification, Ramon’s Village’s main focus is on scuba diving and other water-related activities. The resort also offers free scuba instruction for any child on the spectrum; that includes any other child with special need, who wishes to learn to how to scuba dive. For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training; that is, along with certification for healthcare, education and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children who have special needs have limited travel and recreation options. In response to this need, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry.
“For years, Ramon’s Village Resort has had guests both new and returning who travel to the resort with children of special needs. When we learned many children with autism are calmed by water and that IBCCES and PADI had developed a program to help dive instructors work with these individuals, we felt compelled to be a part of such an inspiring program.”
– Steve Sherwin, Vice President of Operations at Ramon’s Village
A long-term commitment, with a lasting impact
“We’re excited to work with a great destination that is truly committed to serving those on the spectrum. We want to create safe, certified travel options for families and individuals so they can visit destinations across the globe and have peace of mind.”
– Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman
More families and individuals are seeking out destinations and organizations that have completed a certification program through an accredited source. IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification. That includes evidence-based information as well as the perspectives of individuals with autism; alongside other tools and resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations. Renewal requirements ensure the program is a long-term commitment and has a lasting impact.
Achieving Certified Autism Center™ (CAC)
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, 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. Now, that includes Belize, along with Ramon’s Village Resort as a Certified Autism Center™.
“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; while simultaneously improving 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. IBCCES is globally recognized as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.