Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson has always prioritized guests with special needs, from running the Attraction Access Program to hosting a sensory-friendly Autism Day fundraiser. Now, the park is a designated Certified Autism Center (CAC). It’s the first family of parks—meaning all 26 of its North America locations—to earn this designation.
Granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), the title means the park will up its autism-friendly features and train its staff in working with guests with special needs. Six Flags will provide everything from a highly-trained team and sensory-friendly spaces for guests to relax to a sensory guide for each attraction and an expanded selection of food. The park will be equipped as a CAC in early spring.
Six Flags will also be the first network of parks to offer IBCCES Accessibility Cards, which guests on the spectrum or with other disabilities can obtain online before their visit to receive necessary accommodations upon arriving.
In 2018, Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA became the first amusement park to receive a CAC designation. All CAC locations meet three specific requirements: a dedication to serving people with autism, a minimum of 80 percent of the staff is trained and certified in the field of autism and a commitment to ongoing training. The IBCCES performs an on-site review and suggests modifications with those on the spectrum in mind, as well as offers sensory guides for visitors, before awarding the designation.
If you have a child with special needs, please take this survey from Rutgers, which seeks to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affects families of children with autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.