News Article Details

Kennywood now a certified autism center

Tribune-Review - 4/17/2019

April 17-- Apr. 17--In an effort to accommodate all visitors, including those with sensory needs or on the autism spectrum, Kennywood now has status as a Certified Autism Center, according to officials with the West Mifflin amusement park.

The designation is awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards to organizations completing a training and review process to better serve individuals with autism and other sensory needs.

"When we looked at ways to improve guest service over the offseason, becoming a Certified Autism Center was at the top of our to-do list," park general manager Jerome Gibas says.

"Our mission at Kennywood is to provide the finest in family fun and entertainment, and ensuring we're on the front lines in understanding and serving our guests who are on the autism spectrum is critical to achieving that mission," he adds.

New destinations and experiences can be challenging for children on the autism spectrum due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns, park officials state.

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"We want to ensure leaders in the industry, like Kennywood, are fully prepared to welcome guests with all needs. Ongoing training and certification ensure they are committed to serving these guests and have the knowledge and programs to do so," says Myron Pincomb, International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards board chair.

In addition to training and certification, Kennywood will complete an on-site review by the agency and provide additional communication, resources and adjustments for families with special needs.

Currently, ride admission passes are available on-site for guests with disabilities, which will make rides more accessible.

Sensory bags, containing ear plugs, a fidget toy, squishy ball and coloring books and crayons, also are available. Kennywood is also identifying lower-traffic areas for families in need of a break from park activities.

Details: Kennywood.com/Certified-Autism-Center

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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