Visit Visalia Recognizes Autism Awareness Month in April

“Every day is Autism Acceptance Day in our Community.”

Find a video from Visit Visalia and images here

VISALIA, Calif., March 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Visalia, the nation’s first Certified Autism Destination, recognizes Autism Awareness month in April. Visit Visalia and local tourism partners will highlight Visalia’s initiative: Every day is autism acceptance day in our community. A recent survey conducted by Autism Travel ( shows that 78% of parents with an autistic child do not travel, but 94% would be more likely to if autism certified options were available.

Visalia leads the country in deploying training and initiatives to welcome neurodiverse travelers, earning the Country’s first Certified Autism Destination.

Visalia acknowledges Autism Awareness each April to reinforce our commitment to autistic and sensory sensitive adventurers every day, every month, all year long,” said Sherrie Bakke, executive director of Visit Visalia. “A trip to spectacular Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks offers health benefits and a full-sensory experience for every family member.”

Visalia tourism partners are committed to empowering travelers of all abilities to confidently plan their trip to our destination and our nearby national parks. Properties complete specialized training provided by International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to earn their designation as a Certified Autism Center.

Autism awareness will be highlighted in Visalia throughout the month of April:

  • Social Media Takeover: Certified Autism Destination (CAD) Partners will bring awareness to the “Every day is autism acceptance day in our community” campaign through social media posts and profile page graphics.
  • Visual Displays: Hotels and attractions designated as Certified Autism Centers (CAC) and key locations throughout the city will have awareness posters.
  • Visalia Rawhide Baseball at Valley Strong Ballpark: April 23, Valley Strong Ballpark will host the “Free to Be Me” night celebrating those with developmental disabilities including autism. Sponsored by Able, Inc., complimentary tickets to individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and/or their caretakers are available. (

Growing Options
Visalia entertainment, recreation and travel options continue to increase for autistic or sensory sensitive adventurers. Visalia visitors are cared for by trained staff at these tourism designated Certified Autism Centers (CAC): (

  • Comfort Suites Visalia
  • Hampton Inn Visalia
  • Visalia Marriott Hotel
  • Visalia Wyndham Hotel
  • Best Western Visalia
  • Lamp Liter Inn
  • Visalia Adventure Park
  • Imagine U Children’s Museum
  • Valley Oaks Golf Course
  • Tulare County Museum
  • Arts Visalia
  • Visalia Fox Theatre
  • Downtown Visalians Merchants Assn
  • Visit Visalia

Newly opened lodging properties are pursuing the CAC Designation and intend to complete the IBCCES Certification before the peak summer travel season.

Autism Facts
Autism Spectrum Disorder is no longer in the shadows, with 80 million people worldwide living with Autism. Autism diagnoses are on the rise each year with about 1 in 36 children in the U.S. identified as having ASD according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network ( It is estimated that 1 in 6 people have sensory needs and millions of adults are on the spectrum but undiagnosed.

Visalia is known for having the famous Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in its backyard. The city’s natural charm, welcoming locals and abundance of experiences are why this Central California city is much more than a gateway to the great outdoors. Along with great outdoor adventures and the arts, Visalia’s local food scene, from thriving food truck culture to fine dining, offers foodie lovers even more to explore. We look forward to greeting all travelers.

For more information or to book your stay, go to

Visit Visalia is a collaboration of the Visalia Tourism Marketing District and the Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau (VCVB) dedicated to marketing, advertising, public relations, and other promotional efforts that inspire travel to the City of Visalia. Visit Visalia works closely with local lodging properties, restaurants, and attractions to foster interest in Visalia as a year-round destination for leisure, family, and meeting and convention travelers. For more information about Visit Visalia go to and follow Visit Visalia on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

SOURCE Visit Visalia

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