Monday, April 15, 2024

Shreveport Aquarium Recognized as a KultureCity® Certified Sensory Inclusive Venue, Enhancing the Visitor Experience

by BIZ Magazine

Shreveport Aquarium has partnered with KultureCity® to enhance our ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs. 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 aquarium staff are trained annually by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation.

Guests can borrow KultureCity® sensory bags equipped with noise-canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards and VIP lanyards during their visit. The sensory bags are designed for guests with sensory needs and contain items that cater to a variety of tactile experiences, including smooth, textured and squeezable surfaces. The noise-canceling headphones help reduce the volume of sound. These tools were carefully selected based on their effectiveness and safety. Some guests may use the items in the sensory bag to soothe themselves, while others may use them as extra stimulation.

“At Shreveport Aquarium, part of our mission is to create thoughtful, impactful and sometimes unexpected interactions and experiences, says Jon Whitehead, Director of Development for the aquarium. “We are dedicated to creating an exceptional guest experience and making sure everyone feels welcomed and included.”

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 a public attraction. With its new certification, Shreveport Aquarium is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.

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 where to get a KultureCity® Sensory Bag. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a customized visual preview of what to expect while enjoying a visit to Shreveport Aquarium.

“Our communities shape our lives and to know that Shreveport 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 Shreveport Aquarium to provide a truly inclusive experience for all guests!” – Uma Srivastava, Executive Director, KultureCity®

Shreveport Aquarium, owned by Planet Aqua Group is located at 601 Clyde Fant Parkway, in downtown Shreveport. Please visit their website for more information at www.shreveportaquarium.com.

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