The Smart Place Continues to Serve the Autism Community With Renewed Certified Autism Center ™ Designation

Smart Place group photo

The Smart Place has continuously worked to enhance its service to the autism community since the initial designation as a Certified Autism Center™(CAC) in 2019, which made it one of the only autism certified organizations in the state of Georgia and the first in Dekalb County to attain the CAC designation!

The CAC designation is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to organizations that complete its training and certification programs on how to best work with autistic individuals or those with sensory needs. The Smart Place recently renewed it’s commitment and have completed the updated renewal staff training, which is required to maintain the Certified Autism Center™ designation.

Smart Place Yoga“The Smart Place is a non-profit community-based organization located in Ellenwood, Ga., that provides community access and residential services along with virtual learning options. It’s team is dedicated to promoting community membership by supporting individuals to become valued members of recreational, political, educational, and cultural organizations. One Smart Place team member shared: “Having the autism certification allows me to better understand the autism population and gives me the confidence to share my knowledge with family, providers, support coordinators, staff and the community. The Smart Place being a Certified Autism Center™ separates us from others that service our population. We’re proud to be certified.”

The Smart Place works to ensure that each individual is treated with dignity through ongoing training supports and administrative practices. The Smart Place focuses on the whole person, in four major areas: independent living, social development, self-esteem, and community involvement.

“I think that being a Certified Autism Center ™ offers an additional amenity to the resources we provide, which is important to the community when differentiating us from other providers who lack this industry-leading certificate. I’m very proud of this credential and hope to be of greater service to individuals in the ASD demographic,” said executive director, Teresa Punzi.

Smart Place Pet therapy

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been a leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES programs include evidence-based content as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other resources, ongoing support, and renewal requirements to ensure there is continued learning and a lasting impact.

“Our programs are designed to supplement the professional knowledge of staff working with autistic individuals to ensure they have a well-rounded set of skills and knowledge. We’re excited to see The Smart Place continue this journey, and to work with others like The Smart Place, to improve the experiences and outcomes of autistic individuals,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman.

IBCCES also created, as a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.

Smart Place art class

About The Smart Place:

At The Smart Place, we support individuals by empowering them to make meaningful and informed choices. We promote community membership by supporting individuals to become engaged in recreational, political, educational, and cultural activities and programs. We aid in advancing one’s personal growth and accomplishments through a combination of personal choices and creative support. We also zealously guard individual rights (civil, human, and legal) and guarantee that individuals are treated with dignity and respect through ongoing creative training supports and practices.

Learn More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™

Fill out the form below to learn more about our CAC Program, which includes staff certifications, training options and center certification.


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