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Visalia, CA Visit Visalia is thrilled to announce that our list of Certified Autism Centers has grown by one more. The Tulare County Museum of Farm Labor and Culture, located in Visalia’s Mooney Grove Park, is the most recent local attraction designated as a Certified Autism Center™(CAC) by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Certification is granted to organizations that complete position-specific training and certification to help staff better communicate and serve visitors with autism and sensory sensitivities. The museum has joined the Visit Visalia-led initiative to create a welcoming and compassionate destination for travelers with autism.
“Tulare County Museum welcomes visitors from across the globe and locally to explore the rich history of this area,” said museum curator Amy King. “What our staff has learned through this training to become a Certified Autism Center™ makes us better equipped to serve all of our museum visitors, especially those with autism.”
Autism diagnoses are on the rise each year with about 1 in 44 children in the U.S. identified as having ASD according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html) It is estimated that 1 in 6 people have sensory needs and millions of adults are on the spectrum but undiagnosed.
“Activities like visiting a museum can be a highlight when traveling, especially for those with autism, because they are specifically geared to people who are passionate about particular areas of interest and require little to no social engagement. Families visiting will experience opportunities for visual and hands-on learning and do so knowing that staff understands the challenges families face and can help ease those difficulties. The museum adds to Visalia’s list of hotels, sports facilities and attractions that families can choose from when planning their vacation to our city,” said Nellie Freeborn, executive director of Visit Visalia. “We congratulate Tulare County Museum on their achievement and for making this commitment to travelers with autism.”
The Tulare County Museum offers special events throughout the year as well as a rotating series of exhibits that highlight the rich and diverse cultures that have helped shape Tulare County. Current exhibit and upcoming event:
“Exploring America’s Frontier: Westward Settler Experiences in Tulare County This exhibit highlights the pioneers of Tulare County and explores their impact on local history through agriculture. The gallery is filled with artifacts, photographs, and stories from the era. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a covered wagon on loan from a local family whose ancestors made the journey in it from Texas to California in 1864. The exhibit’s official opening will be on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Also on April 2 will be the annual “Tulare County Museum Jamboree,” a family-friendly event that celebrates the heritage of the area. Interactive displays like blacksmith and woodworking demonstrations, native American experiences, crafts, food and more will be available. The event is from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and is FREE to attend. ($6 park entry fee does apply.)
The Tulare County Museum is located in Mooney Grove Park in Visalia, California. The park was established in 1909 and is the oldest county park in the state of California. Nestled in the oak preserve, the museum is just one of the attractions in the park that visitors can experience.
Visitors can find more information about the museum and their upcoming events on their website (https://tularecountymuseum.org/) Visit Visalia is working to make vacation planning easier for our visitors with special needs. They can learn more about accessible travel to Visalia on the Visit Visalia website [https://www.visitvisalia.com/accessible-travel] which includes information about all the Visalia businesses that are autism certified and a video series about accessibility in the nearby Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.