By Christina Capatides
Sesame Place — Pennsylvania’s “Sesame Street”-themed amusement park — has just become the world’s first amusement park designated as a certified autism center. The park announced the news on Facebook this Monday, in honor of Autism Awareness Day, writing: “It’s our goal to provide every family with an enjoyable and memorable visit, and we are proud to offer specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs.”
The theme park partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to ensure that all its staff members received autism sensitivity and awareness training in areas like sensory awareness, motor skills, program development, social skills, communication, environment and emotional awareness. All of its rides are now ranked on a special sensory guide from one to 10.
Sesame Place offers a Ride Accessibility Program to help visitors determine which rides are an appropriate match. The goal is to maximize both enjoyment and safety for visitors with special needs. To enroll a child in the RAP program, parents simply have to fill out the Ride Accessibility Questionnaire on the amusement park’s website. Once the form is validated, a personalized list of rides and attractions, tailored to the individual child’s physical and mental attributes, will be provided.