The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (GLCVB) is pleased to announce that with guidance from Michigan State University, it has launched an initiative to provide information, resources and front-line training to make the Capital region more accessible to visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families.
On April 26, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. This surveillance study identified 1 in 59 children (1 in 37 boys and 1 in 151 girls) as having Autism, Asperger’s Disorder, Pervasive Development Disorder or other Autism Spectrum Disorders.
“The Greater Lansing community prides itself on being welcoming and inclusive and it is our goal to provide the best possible experience to all those that visit,” said Julie Pingston, GLCVB Executive Vice President and COO. “From our training sessions that help those in the tourism industry learn strategies to best serve guests on the Autism spectrum, to our work with local attractions offering sensory-friendly performances, Greater Lansing is committed to meet the needs of our neurodiverse guests and their families.”
One-hour trainings will be offered to assist front-line staff at hotels, attractions and other locations frequented by visitors to have a better understanding of the needs of those with ASD and how they can cultivate a supportive, non-judgmental and welcoming environment.
Greater Lansing attractions currently offering sensory-friendly programming include: Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Abrams Planetarium, Celebration Cinema, Potter Park Zoo, Sierra Rose Horse Farms and NCG Eastwood Cinemas. For more information about this important initiative, and to see the growing list of participating attractions visit www.lansing.org/things-to-do/sensoryfriendly or call 517-487-0077.
The mission of the GLCVB is to promote the region as a visitor destination to impact the area’s economy.