Ahead of Autism Awareness Week from 26 March, here at Beaches Resorts we’re continuing to raise awareness of autism and providing all staff with intensive training to cater to the needs of all children.
In autumn 2017, Beaches Resorts added Sesame Street’s newest, and first ever autistic character, Julia, to the collection of walkaround characters at Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos and staff underwent extensive training. Based on data collected since the beginning of 2018, an average of 200 children per month took part in the Meet and Greet with Julia and the ‘Amazing Art with Julia’ painting activity, across all three Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica.
The introduction of Julia also brought with it an exciting new activity, ‘Amazing Art with Julia’, teaching children how to express themselves through art. In this activity, children are be greeted by Julia a 4-year-old girl character who has Autism. Julia, who loves to paint, highlights how people can express themselves through art. Using a range of materials, children have the opportunity to explore, experiment and create in this open-ended art activity.
Julia’s debut continues Beaches Resorts’ partnership with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, and expands the resort company’s exclusive Beaches Resorts Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street® programme, now in its 13th year of partnership.
As part of Beaches Resorts’ brand-wide efforts to increase awareness of autism, staff underwent initial training with “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in all Children” resources. Complementing these efforts and continuing its commitment to create memorable experiences for all families, Beaches Resorts has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), a global leader in training and certification programmes, created to meet the training needs of professionals who work with individuals with special needs and cognitive disorders.
Through the partnership, which is ongoing and provides intensive training for team members, each of the resorts’ Kids Camps and its early childcare staff have earned the distinction of Certified Autism Centers, ensuring team members have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament and expertise to cater to all children. As the first Caribbean resort company to complete the rigorous IBCCES training and certification, Beaches Resorts has demonstrated it provides a safe, fun and comfortable experience for families with children with autism and other special needs so that all families may enjoy the resort company’s award-winning experience.
Guests can inform staff on booking of any special requirements. For more information or to book, visit www.beachesresorts.co.uk, call 0800 022 2322 or pop down to the Sandals & Beaches Luxury Travel Store at 135, Fulham Road, London.