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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex named Certified Autism Center

Orlando Sentinel - 7/12/2023

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has become a Certified Autism Center, a designation earned in conjunction with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.

To earn this certification, the attraction’s employees had training to better understand autistic or sensory-sensitive visitors. IBCCES also provided more ways it could accommodate visitors and guidance for signs at each exhibit.

“This certification is just one way we are working to ensure that Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is accessible to each of our guests,” Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of the visitor complex, said in a news release.

“The extensive autism sensitivity and awareness training our staff has undergone has already impacted the way we interact with all families and children with of all abilities, but specifically those with autism and other sensory sensitivities,” he said.

As part of the certification, the visitor complex will designate areas where people with sensory sensitivities can relax in less stimulating surroundings, providing a break from potential sensory overload.  It’s also providing an updated sensory guide for guests on its website, its app and at the attraction.

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Signs at the visitor complex are designed to help steer individuals and families plan activities. They include ratings for each sense and information about how each area could affect sensory experiences.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex presents the story of the U.S. space program through attractions and experiences such as Space Shuttle Atlantis, Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Apollo/Saturn V Center, Rocket Garden and Planet Play.

Other Florida entities that are Certified Autism Centers include SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, Aquatica water park, Legoland Florida, Peppa Pig Theme Park and Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

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