The Greater Lansing region is proud to be a welcoming community and has a goal of giving all visitors the best experience. With 1 in 59 children being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Greater Lansing region wants to be able to welcome them into a safe environment.
In 2017, The Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau began a collaboration with some regional attractions to provide a welcoming environment to those on the autism spectrum, those with developmental disabilities, and those who have sensory-processing disorders and other neuro-diverse individuals and their families.
There are now multiple attractions that have joined this partnership including Impression 5 Science Center, Michigan State University’s (MSU) Abrams Planetarium, MSU Museum, Potter Park Zoo, Michigan History Center, the state Capitol building, the Lansing Art Gallery, the Lansing Lugnuts, Preuss Pets and the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.
In addition, the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau has partnered with the mid-Michigan Autism Association, Residential Options Inc. and MSU to further improve the Lansing area in its hospitality. They have initiated local training about autism spectrum disorder for frontline hospitality staff.
This is all in the effort to enhance the visitor experience for people that need a little more attention. Over 800 individuals have undergone the training to better to meet the needs of neuro-diverse guests better.
For their efforts, the program was awarded a Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration at the 2019 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism on March 6.
This program has enabled guests on the spectrum to be able to find a welcoming destination and sometimes travel for the first time.
The Greater Lansing community will be celebrating Autism Awareness Month the remainder of April with many sensory-friendly activities throughout the month.
For more information and a complete schedule, visit lansing.org/things-to-do/sensoryfriendly/.
Tags: autism awareness