The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is now certified with the Championship Autism Network (CAN) whereas all chamber staff have participated in CAN’s Champion-level autism-awareness training. Produced by Lead With Love Training Co., the certification program provided chamber staff with insights on how to better support locals and visitors with autism, including specific sensory needs and accommodations they may have.
“While we have partnered with CAN since 2016, this certification marks the first time that our entire staff has received the autism-awareness training. We are honored to display the CAN certification seal and remain committed to working with our community partners to better serve those with autism,” said Karen Riordan, MBACC and CVB President and CEO.
The chamber joins the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) and various hotels and resorts, restaurants, attractions and other establishments throughout the Grand Strand that have received the training. In addition, the Town of Surfside Beach, the City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County have issued proclamations declaring them autism-friendly travel destinations.
“Creating an environment where the families impacted by autism feel supported and without judgment is the primary CAN mission. CAN works with businesses, local nonprofits and communities to create and ensure inclusive communities by building a network of autism champions,” said CAN Executive Director Becky Large.
CAN offers cards for families to show at participating businesses to discretely notify them that a family with autism is on the site. These cards can be requested through CAN or picked up at the two visitors centers operated by the chamber at MYR airport or 1200 North Oak Street in Myrtle Beach. The Oak Street visitors center also offers wristbands through Project Lifesaver with a GPS tracker for children who may wander off. The wristbands are loaned to out-of-town visitors at no charge.
On April 6, during World Autism Month, the chamber will host a Chamber Academy to provide employers with an insight into what to consider and expect when hiring and working with people with autism. Register to attend.
Champion Autism Network’s mission is to educate and empower communities, businesses, and organizations to create supportive and judgment-free experiences that enhance the quality of life for people living with autism. Learn more at www.championautismnetwork.com.
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