Episode #82 Bluegreen Vacations and the Champion Autism Network “Autism Travel Card”

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Interview with David Boyer, Resort Manager at Bluegreen Vacations.
My name is David Boyer. I have worked in the hospitality industry for over 25 years. I have always been obsessed with providing great customer service and creating incredible vacation memories. Once Brady came into our lives, we looked at things differently. A lot of the things we did as a family was taken for granted. Just going to the store, yet alone on vacation was more of a challenge. It was more difficult to do things as a family. Once we moved to Myrtle Beach we heard about the many activities that were offered for kids with Autism. Brady had a chance to go see things and do activities that he had never done before. I also learned about the training the Champion Autism Network, also known as CAN, does for resorts and hotels to offer the chance for other families to visit Myrtle Beach. This was the same time I was trying to educate my own company on how we can better serve families and children in the autism community. I believe it is so important for the family bonding and togetherness. CAN provides that opportunity by working with businesses and resorts. There is so much that can be done in our area and we have the opportunity to assist other communities to help them learn and develop their own programs with businesses. CAN can truly make a big difference in so many lives. Learn more about Bluegreen Vacations here www.bluegreenvacations.com Learn more about Champion Autism Network (CAN) here https://championautismnetwork.com/
*CAN offers an "Autism Travel Card" for families with autism.

Automatic Transcription from Otter.ai

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Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the autism and action Podcast. Today we have another very special guest, we have Mr. David Boyer. He is with the blue green vacation resort. Thank you. Welcome for Welcome to the show. Mr. Boyer. Thank you for taking the time to be here today.

My pleasure. My pleasure,

David, you are in Myrtle Beach where it is always sunny. And with Blue Green resorts is Tasha mentioned and you're connected with the champion Autism Network. And I'm kind of curious, like what that collaboration looks like. And if you could kind of share a little bit with our listeners about that.

Oh, certainly. So we partnered with the champion Autism Network at the beginning of this past year, to do some autism awareness training with all of our resort staff. So they went to every resort, firstly, do a little site evaluation to kind of help the resort, learn what might be the safety things to look out, you know, if you have someone on the spectrum that's coming, and we address things like a low beam, or what you're aware of might be a safe room that we could have on property, if someone needs a quiet time, you know, different places on the property and educate the staff about those differences. You know, a lot of our staff, maybe have heard things, but they weren't really educated about what autism is. No. And one thing that was really interesting that the champion Autism Network does is beginning every session, they tend to do like a survey in the beginning of what you know, the verses and at the end and evaluation of what you learned. And it was always one mark up on how much people felt there were more aware and more in touch what's going on. I mean, no one's an expert. But that's the whole gist of it was to raise awareness, you know, so our staff isn't judgmental, we understand what's going on. And what it means maybe it's a child's having a meltdown, it doesn't mean that parents are out of control and bad parents, that's just part of possibly what goes on. And then normal everyday thing, you know, with someone on the spectrum. So you know, we wanted to teach the staff in the same manner. So our goal is, so when families come to our resort, they can have the same vacation memories and experience as any other. Now our whole thing is to share happiness. Now, they don't want anyone to be excluded. So by doing this training, we're opening it up to all these families, so they can all enjoy these break detection experiences at all our locations across we have across the US.

You guys have a lot of resorts across the US. Currently, pretty much almost in every state. I believe you guys

aren't Yeah, not quite yet. We're expanding out in the west, not where we're getting them. But we have a lot on the East Coast. We have Arizona, California and Texas. And, you know, who knows what will happen in the future. But, you know, we have owners also, you know, that stay with us, and they're all across the US as well. So, you know, just because people instead of just staying in their own little area, a lot of times go families go isolated, they don't have anywhere to go, judge that they're not being feel comfortable, and hopefully by you know, going with the certification and raising awareness of our staff, our goal is to create an environment that they can vacation anywhere that hey, you know, we've never been to Williamsburg, let's go to woodlands. Berta, hey, there's a wandering, you know, hey, I want to go to Myrtle Beach, you know, whatever the location is, now they have a chance to kind of go to other locations, you know, and, you know, something maybe they didn't have before. And that's what the champion Autism Network does, with this partnership, you know, allow us to kind of maintain that awareness level with our team, so that, you know, we have these options for all these great channels.

And so, like, let's say, you have like one main training I, from what I understand, right, and then both the winner like a new team member comes on, are they is that sort of part of their onboarding process? Or how does that look?

Well, it used to be in the air, we have like a couple of big trainings. And then also we, you know, there's our online modules, you know, through the champion Autism Network in league with wild that we're able to kind of maintain so if we have a new person on they can do an online training, you know, to make sure everyone's current, so they have a couple they have a great tools and mechanisms in place to roll out that training. Nice.

I was very, very fortunate to be one of the lead with love trainers and help with some of the trainings that were ongoing like beginning of the year. And I think it's just an excellent opportunity not only to promote advocacy, you know, within your organization, but within the community and really model what we want from other community leaders, right, other businesses and organizations to join in, you guys have really paved the way here for allowing an opportunity, such a great opportunity for families to get out and have fun, and get out into the community and enjoy their, you know, families and experience that happiness that you were talking about.

Yeah, as we say, I think Becky large, you know, has a great analogy, it's another pebble in the pond, you know, the more pebbles we can put them up on, the more we raise the awareness that it's more about, you know, all of our associates that we educate, they're gonna go back to their own communities in their own families and raise awareness. You know, so, you know, unfortunately, autism affects so many people. And being a spectrum, there's not just one person on autism, everyone is different. Yes, and it touches everyone's family somehow. So by doing this, hopefully, we touch more people on and raise awareness everywhere, and we're so proud to be a part of the initiative, and, and to give back to the community. So it makes me very proud. I, myself have a son on the spectrum. So it makes me very proud of you.

What is the best way for our listeners to find a blue green spot that they want to come visit? What's the best way for them to get online and check that out?

Well, you know, bluegreen, vacations.com. All right, and you know, can reach out that way. Also the champion Autism Network, you know, they have their, their website, champion autism, network.com. And on to their, there's links as well, where you can connect to all the resorts that are certified, gave a couple of different options there. So, you know, been welcome to call me as well. So, you know, looking forward to the future, and you know, as we grow, we will look to grow with this, this program, as well. So, it's phenomenal. It's awesome.

Mr. Moyer, thank you so much for all that you do and all your help with the champion Autism Network. And just for getting out there and helping, you know, spread autism awareness, with the blue green resorts in, I just want to say thank you, again, for taking the time to be here today. Is there any last piece of advice that you'd like to share with our listeners before we park today,

um, the biggest thing was that, you know, everyone can do their own part about raising awareness. You know, it's not just not just, you know, a resort or an organization, but you know, everyone cheering up or raise awareness. So you'll have all these families can have great experience that just be patient, but doing everything, just shopping. So So I definitely encourage everyone to go to the champion autism network.com to see the break things they do outside of resorts and some of the other things they do in the Myrtle Beach area. It's just phenomenal, and hopefully more will be coming to other people throughout the throughout the nation. So I thank you both for your time. And, you know, I'm always available for any questions.

So you have a wonderful rest of the day.

Thank you. Bye bye. Bye.

Let's Discuss!

Now, we would love to hear from you.

Do you have questions? Do you have ideas? Do you have an opinion? Do you think we missed something?

Let's have a discussion in the comments below or head over to the Autism in Action Facebook group. We would love to hear from you!

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