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Mesa becomes 1st autism-certified city in United States

PHOENIX — An East Valley city has become the first in the United States to become autism certified.

Mesa was awarded the designation by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, the city announced Monday in a press release.

The year-long initiative, spearheaded by Visit Mesa, came to fruition after about 60 businesses and organizations in the city completed autism certification training.

About 4,000 total community members have completed the autism certification training, according to the release.

“With Visit Mesa leading the charge, Mesa is rolling out the welcome mat for individuals on the autism spectrum,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said in the release. “We commend Marc Garcia and the staff at Visit Mesa for their vision.”

Visit Mesa has also launched an autism-specific page on its website.

The page has an autism guide and lists lodging, dining, attractions and more that have become autism certified.

The Mesa Parks Recreation and Community Facilities Department made its own history in May when it became the first department in the world to receive an autism-certified designation.

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