Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert has announced its designation as a Certified Autism Center (CAC), which is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). With staff members trained in sensory awareness, Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert is taking a step towards expanding programs and enhancing its ability to serve autistic and sensory-sensitive children and their families.
According to IBCCES, autism diagnosis rates are now 1 in 36 children and 1 in 6 people have sensory needs. In addition to certification, Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert is committed to ensuring children have access to materials that empower them, instill confidence, and promote self-esteem. The organization provides tools and resources that help children predict outcomes, practice following directions step by step, and make positive choices in everyday situations. Furthermore, Variety offers guidance, workshops, and activities for parents to follow and practice at home, laying the foundation for strong family relationships.
By completing the CAC process, Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert joins a larger movement initiated by Visit Greater Palm Springs to achieve the Certified Autism Destination (CAD) designation. This designation ensures that visitors to the Greater Palm Springs area have multiple trained and certified options to choose from, including entertainment, recreation, and lodging. IBCCES is the only credentialing board offering travel and entertainment industry-specific programs, which include training from subject matter experts and autistic self-advocates, as well as long-term support and continuous learning, onsite reviews, and renewal requirements to ensure there is continued learning and lasting impact.
“Becoming a designated Certified Autism Center with staff members trained in sensory awareness is an important part of Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert’s program expansion,” said Heidi Maldoon, the executive director of Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert. “Through the process of earning the Certified Autism Center designation, we are positioning our team to improve how we assist children and parents both during the screening process and in services and support which follow. This opportunity elevates our ability to serve and support autistic children and their families at our Palm Desert Resource Center. Through workshops and resources for parents and children navigating their unique experiences with autism, we will be better equipped to impact families on their journey. I commend Visit Greater Palm Springs for recognizing this valuable opportunity to be part of a movement of intentional support and inclusion.”
“We are thrilled to certify Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert as a Certified Autism Center and welcome them into our network of organizations committed to serving autistic individuals and their families. Their dedication to providing resources and support aligns perfectly with our mission to create a more inclusive world,” stated Myron Pincomb, the Board Chairman of IBCCES. “We also commend Visit Greater Palm Springs for their vision and leadership in initiating the Certified Autism Destination™ program, and together, we can foster a community-wide commitment to inclusivity and setting a standard of excellence for other businesses and organizations to follow.”