Destination Toledo now a Certified Autism Center

Press Staff Writer

        Destination Toledo, the official Destination Marketing Organization for the Toledo region, has become a Certified Autism Center (CAC), a designation granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to organizations that have completed autism-specific training and certification in order to better understand and welcome autistic and sensory-sensitive visitors and their families.
        Destination Toledo’s CAC certification is the first step in the organization's initiative to help Toledo achieve the designation of Certified Autism Destination (CAD) to attract new visitors to the area and expand accessibility offerings.
        Toledo is currently the only city in Ohio actively pursuing a designation as a CAD.
        “The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards autism certification is an important step in Toledo’s pursuit to becoming an inclusive and welcoming destination for all,” said Lance Woodworth, President & CEO of Destination Toledo. “Visitors should feel confident planning a trip to a certified destination knowing their specific needs will be addressed and the barriers to traveling will be eased.”
        Destination Toledo is currently working to engage additional local partners in the travel and hospitality sector to help ensure there are a variety of Certified Autism Centers as the CAD initiative moves forward.
        “The Valentine Theatre was the first in Toledo to become a CAC, which speaks to the philanthropic nature of their organization,” said Woodworth. “Toledo Museum of Art is working through the CAC process now and is the first museum to sign a five-year contract with IBCCES.”
        As part of its focus on accessibility, Destination Toledo’s website,, also utilizes various technologies to ensure accessibility for all users.
        Many autistic individuals and their families want to travel but have concerns they will not be understood, welcomed, or have access to sensory-friendly spaces, Woodworth said.
        In pursuit of the community designation as a CAD, a collection of Toledo’s attractions, hotels, recreation, and entertainment venues will complete autism and sensory training and certification, as well as onsite reviews through IBCCES. This process and designation ensure there are concrete steps in place to enhance the visitor experience and welcome neurodivergent visitors to the community.


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