Dive Georgia, a full-service scuba, snorkel and travel center, has completed the process of becoming a Certified Autism Center, which is a designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to ensuring guests and families with children who have autism have the best possible experience when visiting their center or taking a dive class. They are the first dive shop in Georgia to earn this designation.
Dive Georgia completed the CAC program through IBCCES, which requires staff training and certification to ensure staff is better equipped to work with individuals on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities.
Children with autism are often drawn to water and scuba diving may be a beneficial activity, but individuals on the autism spectrum often find new activities to be a challenge due to sensory needs and safety concerns.
As a Certified Autism Center, Dive Georgia staff and dive instructors are prepared to welcome those who are interested in learning to dive but may have hesitated before.
“We sought the training and education for this title in order to better serve potential divers and snorkelers on the spectrum. This new certification means that divers and snorkelers on the autism spectrum or with other sensory disorders can experience the best possible class catered to their specific needs,” said Brian Rickman, managing partner of Dive Georgia.
For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for healthcare, education and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children have limited travel and entertainment options and created programs specifically for those industries.
“I can’t stress the impact that this will have in terms of forward progress, as when I was growing up on the autism spectrum I could only dream about having these options available for me and my family,” said Kerry Magro, an autism advocate, best-selling author and public speaker.
“Our Certified Autism Center designation is awarded to organizations who have gone above and beyond to ensure their clients have the best experience possible. Ensuring that families and individuals on the spectrum have trained and certified options is our mission and we’re happy to work with Dive Georgia towards this mission,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman.
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination or attraction listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center requirements, which include extensive staff training conducted by leading autism experts.