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PADI and IBCCES launch new service for children with autism

April is Autism Awareness Month. In recognition of this, PADI and the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) recently announced a partnership to bring the Certified Autism Center program, to PADI affiliated dive centres. The Certified Autism Center designation identifies companies and facilities trained to be aware of and sensitive to the
Published: April 20, 2019 - 19:33
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:03
PADI and IBCCES launch new service for children with autism

April is Autism Awareness Month. In recognition of this, PADI and the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) recently announced a partnership to bring the Certified Autism Center program, to PADI affiliated dive centres.

The Certified Autism Center designation identifies companies and facilities trained to be aware of and sensitive to the needs of individuals with autism and other cognitive disorders. Establishing a partnership with IBCCES will enable training and certification for PADI dive centres and resorts. Facilities that earn this distinction will receive ongoing support from IBCCES, enabling them to reach over 20 million families of autistic children worldwide.

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[blockquote style=”2″]”Diving often proves to be a healing and transformative experience for those with physical or emotional difficulties. We are honored to partner with Dive Centers and IBCCES to make it easier for individuals and families with special needs to find new opportunities to explore the world, have adventures and improve their well-being through diving.” – said Kristin Valette-Wirth, Director of Marketing, PADI Worldwide[/blockquote].

Studies have shown that engaging in stimulating experiences such as travel, interaction with animals, outdoor play and water activities have a therapeutic effect on children and autistic individuals. Today, 1 in 59 children in the US are diagnosed with autism, in turn, the travel sector for this type of customer, is the fastest growing segment in the family travel market. According to recent data, out of 1,000 families with a child affected by autism, as many as 87% would be more likely to visit an immersion centre where staff are trained and certified in the needs and services of autistic people.

[blockquote style=”2″]”Water is the main attraction for most people with autism and we have had many requests from families who would like to experience scuba diving,” said Myron Pincomb, CEO of IBCCES[/blockquote].

Dive centres and PADI centres that seek to become Certified Autism Centres will work with IBCCES to train at least 80% of their staff who have direct contact with clients so that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to interact with families and children with special needs. This type of training must be done every two years for the facility to maintain certification.

Source: ibcces.org/padi

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Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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