Sensory bags, fidget tools and noise-cancelling headphones are some of the resources available
(CLEARWATER, Fla.) May 2, 2023 – KultureCity® has partnered with Clearwater Marine Aquarium to make its programs and events Sensory Inclusive™. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with a sensory issue, no matter their age or ability.
The certification process ensures that the staff at Clearwater are trained annually by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. KultureCity® Sensory Bags, equipped with noise-canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and KCVIP lanyards will be available to all guest at CMA who may feel overwhelmed by this new environment. There are also several areas of the aquarium that are designated as quiet zones where guests can have “space” to get away.
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 can be a major part of the environment at a location like an aquarium. With its new certification, CMA is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.
“It is important to us that we provide the best experience for all of our guests at Clearwater Marine Aquarium,” said Anthony Rivera, chief operating officer. “Having this certification from KultureCity® gives our guests the tools and privacy they may need to experience the aquarium in a way that will make them feel more comfortable,” said Rivera. “Those resources are crucial for allowing everyone to be included in this experience.”
Prior to their visit, families and individuals can download the free KultureCity® App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them including, Quiet Areas, where to get a KultureCity® Sensory Bag, where the Headphone Zones are etc. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a customized visual preview of what to expect while enjoying a visit to CMA.
“Our communities shape our lives and to know that Clearwater Marine Aquarium is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in community experiences is amazing. We’re honored to partner with CMA to provide a truly inclusive experience for all guests,” said Uma Srivastava, Executive Director, KultureCity®.
KultureCity® is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its 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 1,000 Sensory Inclusive™ public and private services, organizations, events and venues in six countries: this includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB World Series, and MLB All Star Weekend.
MEDIA CONTACT Marsha Strickhouser, (727) 242-0770, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, firstname.lastname@example.org.
KultureCity® has won many awards for its efforts, including the NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017 and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, KultureCity® was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 and 2020 by FastCompany and recently won the Industry Partner Award in TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2019.
- About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. With a mission to preserve the environment and its marine life, CMA is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, a nurse shark and more. Through Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, CMA conducts important global research focused on protecting manatees, North Atlantic right whales and sea turtles. Major motion picture Dolphin Tale (2011) and its sequel Dolphin Tale 2 (2014) features the true stories of rescued resident dolphins Winter and Hope, inspiring millions around the world. The mission and potential to change people’s lives differentiates Clearwater Marine Aquarium from any other aquarium in the world.
We believe in preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life; environmental education; research; and conservation.
A Florida non-profit 501(c)(3) organization