Beaches Resorts raises its commitment to inclusive tourism
The hotel chain will recertify as an Advanced Certified Autism Center (ACAC) and expand offerings at its luxury family resorts in Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands
In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, Beaches® Resorts has announced its expanded commitment to families with children on the autism spectrum, ensuring a safe, fun and comfortable vacation experience that is tailored to their needs. With one in 54 children diagnosed with autism in the US, special needs travel continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of family travel and one of the most underserved. Building on an existing partnership with the International Continuing Education Standards and Accreditation Board (IBCCES), the world leader in cognitive disorders training and certification, Beaches Resorts has extended its Advanced Certified Autism Center (ACAC) Accreditation through 2023 and continues to be the world's first and only ACAC resort company,
Through this ACAC recertification process, over the next several months, team members from Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands will be eligible to virtually participate in advanced autism training, with an emphasis on key contact areas. from the resorts, including children's camps, entertainment, front desk / reception, food and beverage, and water sports operations. This recertification process will expand to training of team members in the airport arrival lounges / reception areas in Montego Bay, Jamaica and Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, which offer the first point of contact for guests arriving from Beaches Resorts.
The all-inclusive family resort business, in collaboration with IBCCES, will also launch a Sensory Stimulation Guide for guests with sensory needs, providing comfort and understanding of what to expect in each designated area of the resort. The guide, which describes the degree of sensory stimulation in a specific area or event, allows families to easily plan and navigate their visit based on their individual needs. Designated low-sensitivity areas will also be identified at all resorts, allowing guests to find comfort in designated spaces should they need a break from sensory stimulation. These locations will be easily identifiable through maps of the complex, on-site signage, and pre-trip planning materials.
"As the first resort company in the world to earn ACAC's distinguished credentials, we are proud of the work we have accomplished to date and look forward to finding new ways to demonstrate our commitment to autism acceptance and inclusion while creating autism. -Environment friendly, "said Joel Ryan, group manager for themed entertainment and activities for children. "As the best luxury vacation experience in its class, we have always strived for an inclusive experience that allows parents to have confidence when selecting our resorts, knowing that their children can feel comfortable and safe, have fun and create memories for all. life".
In 2017, Beaches Resorts became the world's first resort company to be recognized by IBCCES as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) and, as part of its larger Sesame Street partnership, it also featured Julia, a young girl from four years on the autism spectrum, which brought a new exclusive activity to Beaches Resorts: Amazing Art with Julia. Two years later, the tourism company became the first to obtain the Advanced Certified Autism Center (ACAC), recognized by IBCCES.
"Like the rest of the world, we know that autistic families and individuals are eager to travel, visit new places and create new memories as soon as they can. They are also looking for organizations that are trained and certified in autism, particularly leaders like Beaches Resorts. They go further, "said Myron Pincomb, Chairman and CEO of the IBCCES Board. "The professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm of the Beaches Resorts team is second to none, and we are delighted to continue our partnership to provide lasting support and impact."
The recertification and extension of Beaches Resorts ACAC builds on existing measures to serve this specialized community, as well as those with sensory sensitivities, including:
- In-depth education for Beaches Resorts staff, with 40 credit hours on autism awareness and sensitivity, focused on communication, motor skills, social skills, environmental awareness, emotional awareness, bullying, early childhood identification, transition to age adult and more.
- Advanced training with special emphasis on the operations of Children's Camps, Entertainment, Food and Beverages, Reception / Reception and Water Sports of the company.
- An annual on-site audit and review by the IBCCES team.
- Changes in protocols and physical space to adapt to various needs.
- An optional 'One-on-One Beaches Buddy' service that provides private, personalized childcare with a certified autism friend and can be booked in advance for a nominal fee.
- A toll-free number dedicated to the Beaches Special Services Team, certified by IBCCES, and able to assist both consumers and travel professionals who want to learn more about Beaches vacations and autism programming at a resort.
- A culinary concierge program to support specific dietary restrictions and special requests.
- Modified check-in options for private in-room check-in.
- Sensory toys and DreamPad pillows available for children's use.
- Modified design and décor in children's camps and key entertainment areas to create a more sensory-friendly environment.
"Beaches Resorts are 'walking the road' in space and while they are humble about their efforts to serve the autism community , it is important to note that they were the first travel company to do it and to do it well," he said. Holly Robinson. Peete, actress, activist and philanthropist . "With first-hand experience as a mother of a child (RJ) with autism, this space is near and dear to me, and inclusive travel on this scale is rare. I continue to applaud Beaches Resorts, and return to my family, as it is truly a place where we feel welcome and can relax and enjoy quality time together, "concluded Robinson Peete.