BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is now a Sensory Inclusive Facility
March 03 2020
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo has partnered with Kulture City to make the Zoo and all of the programs and events that the facility hosts sensory inclusive. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with a sensory issue that visits the Zoo. BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is the first facility in Baton Rouge to be officially certified in as a sensory inclusive facility.
The certification process entailed the staff at the Zoo being trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker) and weighted lap pads will also be available to all guests at the Zoo who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. These guests will also be able to have use of several quiet spaces for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment.
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a venue like the Zoo. With its new certification, the Zoo is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when attending any event at the Zoo.
Prior to attending an event, families can download the free KultureCity App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a preview of what to expect while enjoying an event at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo.
“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend the Zoo, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment. Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Zoo is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.” Dr. Julian Maha, Co-Founder, KultureCity.
About BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is a place where people connect with animals, including tigers, giraffes, rhinos and alligators. The world-class Realm of the Tiger, Flamingo Cove, Giants of the Islands, Safari Playground, L'aquarium de Louisiane, and KidsZoo exhibits offer fun and education for all ages.
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs; not just those with Autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 350 sensory inclusive venues in 4 countries; this includes special events such as: NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts: NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. Recently, KultureCity was awarded one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 by FastCompany.