OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale has become the first attraction in Arizona to become a Certified Autism Center.

This designation is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continued Education Standards. It means that visitors and families with children who have autism can enjoy the best possible experience catered to their needs.

OdySea Aquarium had to complete critical required training to recognize the needs of guests on the autism spectrum, as well as provide necessary facility options for the demographic.

"We know families with children on the autism spectrum often find it challenging when choosing an attraction to visit,” said Greg Charbeneau, vice president and general manager at OdySea. “Our mission to connect visitors with the wonders of the ocean has no exclusions. We have always made the necessary accommodations to make all guests as comfortable as possible — on every visit. This certification was a natural step for us as we continue to provide safe, engaging and memorable experiences for all of our guests."

Prior to this accreditation, OdySea became PAL certified, hosted autism awareness days and offered a quiet room for guests who needed a break from the aquarium floor. There was also a special video on the OdySea website giving families insight into what they could expect during a visit. Guests with special needs have always been encouraged to request help to make their visit enjoyable.