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OdySea becomes first Arizona attraction to be autism certified

(OdySea Photo)

PHOENIX — An Arizona aquarium on Tuesday became the state’s first attraction to be autism certified.

Scottsdale’s OdySea Aquarium was recognized by the International Board of Credentialing and Continued Education Standards as a certified autism center, according to a press release.

The designation means that visitors and families with children who have autism and other sensory differences can enjoy the best possible experience that caters to their needs.

OdySea completed required training on the needs of guests on the autism spectrum and provided necessary facility options to receive the certification.

“We want to provide [people] the best possible experience at OdySea Aquarium every day of the year, not just on special occasions,” Jessica Peranteau, OdySea’s director of animal care and education, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

Prior to the accreditation, OdySea hosted autism awareness days, offered a quiet room for guests who needed a break from the aquarium floor and employed digital guides and on-site resources for families with children with non-visible disabilities.

OdySea, which features more than 65 exhibits and 370 species of animals, opened in September 2016.

“We’ve always been connected with our visitors in the Valley,” Peranteau said. “We want to be the community’s aquarium, and as one of the newer attractions in Arizona, we wanted to reach that community.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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