Elmwood Park Zoo offers guests a unique zoo experience, from ziplining and treetop adventures to overnight campouts, and a chance to get up close with owls, eagles, and giraffes. Now, this Philly area zoo has something else to offer: It is the world’s first zoo to be designated a Certified Autism Center.
Just in time for the peak zoo visiting season, Elmwood Park Zoo has hit a global milestone. In an effort to give guests on the autism spectrum an opportunity to see and interact with animal life, the zoo has partnered with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Services to receive its credentials as a Certified Autism Center.
This means that zoo employees have received intensive training, including motor skill, sensory awareness, and communication. An audit of the zoo was also taken in order to make improvements and changes to the layout and offerings.
With the same guidance and training provided to Sesame Place earlier this spring, the IBCCES has helped Elmwood Park Zoo give a specialized experience to autistic guests and their families whenever they visit the zoo.
More than just animals at Elmwood: Kids can engage with the varied special exhibits and attractions. Photo courtesy of Elmwood Park Zoo
This Norristown gem is showing great initiative in the awareness, understanding, and offerings to guests on the autism spectrum. It’s also the perfect size for a zoo trip and isn't overwhelming, but from amphibians to birds and large mammals, it has a lot of great exhibits. And of course, don't forget about all the extra goodies, such as a playground, face painting, and, during the summer months, live music on the weekends in its Zoo Brew Beer Garden. Budget-friendly, close by, and easy to get to, its new designation just gives us one more reason to love Elmwood Park Zoo.
Top photo courtesy of Elmwood Park Zoo