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Visalia Marriott at the Convention Center Designated a Certified Autism Center™ and Joins Community Initiative

Visalia becomes a more inclusive destination for travelers with autism


Visalia, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2022) - Visit Visalia is pleased to announce that the Visalia Marriott at the Convention Center has been designated a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. The hotel property is located in pedestrian-friendly downtown Visalia, the restaurant and entertainment core of the city, and is adjacent to the 114,000 square-foot convention center. Visalia now boasts three hotel properties that have completed the autism program, providing multiple trained and certified options for visitors looking for entertainment, recreation, and hotel choices in the area.

“Working with IBCCES, a global leader in online training and certification programs, has given our team the tools and knowledge to provide better service and experiences to all our visitors,” says Carrie Groover, General Manager. "We are excited to be a part of the Visalia movement to become a more inclusive destination for autistic individuals and their families."

Visalia Marriott guests may request special accommodations during their stay when travelling with a person with autism that may include:

The Visalia Marriott joins other local tourism businesses that are working together on an initiative led by Visit Visalia to achieve the “Certified Autism Destination” designation for the city. Local attractions, museums and sports venues are also supporting this initiative including Valley Oaks Golf Course, the first course in California to become a CAC. Along with accommodations for players with sensory needs, the course has plans to host clinics specially designed for those with autism. 

IBCCES works with organizations all over the US and the world to make travel and recreation experiences more positive and accessible. They created to serve as a free resource for families looking for trained and certified travel and recreation options. Each organization listed on the site has met the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.

“We’re thrilled for Visalia Marriott at the Convention Center, and proud that they have joined in this community initiative that will make a huge difference for so many travelers,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.

Visit Visalia’s Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program helps travelers with special needs obtain additional support they may require while traveling here.  Developed and launched in the United Kingdom, the program is now a recognized icon that travelers with accessibility needs can utilize to discreetly be identified as having a disability. Visit Visalia offers the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyards and bracelets complimentary to those that request them when traveling to our city. 

Visit Visalia has prioritized accessibility and inclusion. Travelers with sensory disabilities like autism are encouraged to use the tools on our website to plan a trip to our city and the nearby Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.  A complete list of CACs, Visit Visalia Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program participants, links to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks accessibility video series and visitors guide, and much more are available at: 

Visalia is known for having the famous Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in its backyard, but 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 experiences, 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.

Visalia Marriott at the Convention Center provides a central location in downtown Visalia; shops, restaurants, and breweries are all within walking distance. The hotel is also near Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Kaweah Delta Hospital.

Committed to providing The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications focused on autism, sensory needs, mental health, and cognitive disorders that empower professionals to be leaders in their field the outcomes for the individuals they serve. IBCCES provides industry and position-specific training and certification for education, healthcare, travel, hospitality, and corporate professionals in more than 87 countries around the globe. IBCCES’ board and advisors include clinical and subject matter experts and autistic self-advocates to ensure well-rounded, up-to-date, and effective programs.


Media Contacts:

Visit Visalia
Suzanne Bianco, Tourism Marketing Director
(559) 334-0141

Visalia Marriott
Carrie Groover, General Manager 559.622.2001
(559) 622-2001

Meredith Tekin, President 
(904) 508-0135 // (904) 434-1534

©2023 Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 2734 Visalia, CA 93279
112 E Main St, Visalia, CA 93291
(800) 524-0303 : (559) 334-0141
Visitor Center Hours
Monday - Friday 8am-5pm
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