Memphis Zoo has partnered with KultureCity to make the entire Zoo more sensory inclusive. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all sensory-sensitive guests who visit.
Late last year, Memphis Zoo employees were trained by leading medical professionals on ways to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Starting this week, 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 be available in their reception area to all Zoo guests who may feel overwhelmed. The Zoo has also marked zones where headphones might be necessary.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer these sensory bags to our guests. We hope this will allow more people to enjoy the zoo at their leisure and learn about our mission to create adventures and save wildlife,” said Jim Dean, President and CEO of Memphis Zoo.
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 overstimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a venue like the Memphis 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.
Prior to visiting the Memphis Zoo, families can also 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 a visit to the Memphis Zoo. “Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Memphis 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.
Watch our recent cityCURRENT Radio Show interview with the Memphis Zoo