KultureCity, one of USA Today’s 2016 Top Nonprofits in the U.S., is a Birmingham based, impact driven nonprofit focused on helping autistic individuals realize their potential by providing tangible help and equipping businesses and the community to relate to children with autism and their families. “The KultureCity Sensory Friendly Initiative was born out of the desire to help businesses and community organizations better understand the needs of individuals with autism and other sensory needs. The goal is to allow these individuals the ability to see and experience all the things a community has to offer, without being overwhelmed by everything going on around them.” – kulturecity.org
KultureCity has provided The Gardens with an evidence-based sensory training program to help increase the knowledge base of staff and volunteers. The training included an initial assessment of staff knowledge relating to autistic individuals, in-person training for staff by a licensed occupational therapist, access to training videos to be used with new or seasonal staff and volunteers and modification recommendations. KultureCity will also provide yearly follow up for training purposes.
Following the staff training, KultureCity performed a site assessment for The Gardens. Their assessment included a facilities walk-through, programs evaluation, intake form assessment and further modification recommendations related to these topics. The site assessment included recommendations for placements of co-branded signage which will convey our partnership to visitors to The Gardens upon their arrival at main entrances and designate “Quiet Space” and “Headphone Zone” areas throughout.
On Saturday, April 22, as part of our annual Earth Day at The Gardens celebration, The Gardens will host a Sensory Friendly Family Event to officially introduce its’ partnership with KultureCity. Families will be provided with updated maps of The Gardens grounds indicating the locations of our designated “Quiet Spaces” and “Headphone Zones” to better plan a walk through our collections. Additionally and as requested KultureCity will provide grab-and-go sensory bags for families to borrow during their visit to The Gardens. These sensory bags will contain items like a fidget toy, a non-verbal communication card and noise-cancelling headphones. Come join us to learn how The Gardens and KultureCity are working together to allow individuals with autism and other sensory needs, as well as their families, the ability to see and experience all that The Gardens has to offer.
For information about KultureCity, visit their website.
The Gardens will join the Birmingham Zoo who was designated a “Sensory Friendly Facility” in 2015