Monday 6 July, 2020

Dolphin Cove staff receives autism training

Stock image of a girl with a dolphin.

Stock image of a girl with a dolphin.

In what is being described as a first for an attraction in Jamaica, the popular Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios, St Ann has moved to certify its staff in how to deal with persons with autism.

General Manager at the facility, Mauricio Cortez told Loop News that the decision was taken to ensure that families with autistic members can have a fun time like anyone else without having to worry about whether their loved one is being taken care of.

For Cortez, no one should miss out on having fun.

“It is to ensure that persons who are autistic are able to have a memorable experience while at Dolphin Cove,” Cortez explained.

“So we are in the process of certifying all our staff. By the end of this week (last week) we will be ready to receive guests with this condition,” he continued. “They (autistic individuals) just need some special attention. That’s why we are certifying our staff to be able to properly deal with them.” 

He said staff members were very excited about the training that was administered by the Florida-based International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standard (IBCCES). IBCCES is globally recognised for providing certification for persons who work and interact with persons with autism and other cognitive disorders.

Meanwhile, founder of the Maia Chung Autism Foundation (MCAF), Maia Chung has welcomed the development.

“They’re (Dolphin Cove) showing not just corporate responsibility but great business savvy, Chung, whose Foundation has benefited by way of scholarship for autistic students from Dolphin Cove, told Loop News.

Chung noted that families living with autism lead regular lives and have money to spend.

“It is not just a civil right but smart businesses cater to every dollar that is gettable,” she said.

Chung made an appeal for other businesses to “open your market to the autism economy and increase your profits.”

“Thus far autism is going nowhere in terms of its increasing presence in the global population. Businesses that get in on the ground floor will profit immensely as families are hankering for somewhere to entertain their autistic family member and give them the full life experience,” Chung, who has an autistic son, reasoned.

She told Loop News that Dolphin Cove has extended its certification training offer to an officer of the MCADF who will be certified under the programme.

“We are very grateful for this company’s largesse because we can now train families in this area, maybe even help people get jobs,” Chung said.

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