Louisville Zoo is Certified Sensory Inclusive

ZOO CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
502-238-5331 (Media Cell 502-744-5639)
kyle.shepherd@louisvilleky.gov

LOUISVILLE, KY (June 7, 2022) — KultureCity has partnered with the Louisville Zoo to make the Zoo as well as its hosted programs and events more sensory inclusive. This new initiative will promote an accommodating, positive experience for all guests with a sensory issue who visit the Zoo.

The Kulture City Sensory Inclusive™ Certification process entailed the Louisville Zoo staff being trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize visitors with sensory needs as well as how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags equipped with noise canceling headphones provided by Puro Sound Labs, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads will also be available to guests at the Zoo who feel overwhelmed by the environment. The Zoo has identified quiet zones for a quieter and more secure environment.

 “We are proud to have earned this sensory inclusive certification through KultureCity. Our dedicated team is determined to make the Louisville Zoo the safest, most inclusive, most engaging place for all of our guests to enjoy and learn about the amazing animals that share our wonderful world,” said Louisville Zoo Director Dan Maloney. “This certification is an important step in our recognition of our neuro diverse visitors as we create a great experience for everyone!”

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions (1 in 6 individuals). 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 Zoo. With its new certification, the Louisville 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 the Louisville Zoo.

“Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Louisville Zoo is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing. We’re honored to partner with Zoo to provide a truly inclusive experience for all fans and guests!” Uma Srivastava, Executive Director, KultureCity.

Guests can learn more about the program and reserve kits at louisvillezoo.org/kulturecity.

About 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 900 sensory-inclusive venues in 5 countries: this includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB World Series, and MLB All Star Weekend. 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.

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About the Louisville Zoo

Since 2011, under Mayor Fischer’s administration, the Louisville Zoo celebrated its 50th anniversary, opened nine new exhibits and attractions, and won national awards for Glacier Run and School at the Zoo. Considered Kentucky’s most popular not-for-profit paid attraction, the Zoo welcomed nearly 9 million guests in the last decade. In 2021, the Zoo was voted “Best Place to Take Kids in Summer,” by LEO Weekly, “Best Kid-Friendly Attraction” by Kentucky Living Magazine and Boo at the Zoo made the Top 10 Halloween Festivals list by thetravel.com. Community Access Memberships, deep-discount days, the Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies partnership and the accessible playground are among prime efforts to make Louisville Zoo even safer, more engaging, and more inclusive. Among the Louisville Zoo’s most successful conservation programs, the black-footed ferret breeding effort produced 1,100 kits and repatriated more than 800 of these most highly endangered, American mammals to the wild.

The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state Zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

 

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