Walt Disney World Receives Award for Autism Awareness

WDW receives autism award

Often unheralded, but used every day, Walt Disney World has top of the industry support and services for accommodating guests with disabilities. So it’s nice when they get recognized for it. The most recent award has come from across the pond. The Gold Autism Award was presented to Disney on behalf of The United Kingdom Autism Foundation for Disney’s efforts supporting and accommodating autistic guests.

The Gold Autism Award, accepted by Greg Hale, Chief Safety Officer and Vice President of Worldwide Standards and Auditing, was presented by Ivan Corea, father of an autistic child, Charin Corea. The award recognizes Disney’s initiatives to help guests with disabilities navigate the Walt Disney World Resort properties in an easy and effortless way.

Charin has inspired an entire autism movement in the United Kingdom. His parents initiated 2002 as Autism Awareness Year and they founded Autism Sunday which is now a massive international event celebrated in many countries including the United States. The inspiration behind all of this is Charin, a teenager with autism spectrum disorder and a communication disorder, who has inspired world leaders to speak up for people with autism and Asperger syndrome.

“I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they are at the park. I want them to feel they are in another world,” said Corea quoting Walt Disney. “Disney World does just that, and makes it possible for (my son) Charin and other guests to truly enjoy their time in the parks because of its excellent attention and service.”

Raising awareness about autism and the needs of those who suffer from this condition is the main goal of the UK Autism Foundation.

Disney works to accommodate guests with disabilities by appropriately training Cast Members, making the latest technology available to guests and constantly reviewing policies and procedures that govern park operations. In addition, guests with disabilities can plan their park experience by reviewing a copy of the Guide for Guests with Disabilities.

“Part of Disney’s heritage is to have no one feel excluded,” said Hale. “Our goal here is to make experiences accessible to any guest that enters the parks.”

To learn more about Disney services for guests with disabilities please visit http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guests-with-disabilities/

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3 Responses to Walt Disney World Receives Award for Autism Awareness

  1. joyce pond says:

    We have an 7yr old son with autism,he has been to Disney with us 3 times now,and the services we received far surpassed our expectations! i would just like to say thank you for making it so easy for him to enjoy himself.we will be back again in April 2013!

  2. We have a 14 year old son with autism who is totally obsessed with all things DIsney – we have been to Disneyland Paris every St Patrick’s Day for the past 10 ten years and also to WDW and the kindness and understanding shown to us has been incredible. It’s what makes us go back year after year. We cannot thank Disney enough!

  3. Noreen Albright says:

    WDW has done an outstanding job with many disabilities. They have been excellent and patient with my son who has Autism and the majority of people we came in contact with were very good at shuffling him and our small party along avoiding a meltdown and keeping everyone from injury or possible harm. They have waiting areas where my son can move around but not step on anyone or accidently hit them by flapping when happy : ) I appreciate all they do and we’ve been back every year loyally not only because they make our holiday so much more easier and enjoyable but because they DO train their employees and they are sincere about keeping “the magic” alive. Believe me, it’s there, especially for our kids who need some accomodating! Excellent job and a well deserved award!

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