The Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena on Tuesday announced the launch of a new sensory inclusive program in collaboration with KultureCity.
PNC Arena has been certified as sensory inclusive, which supports the Arena’s ongoing initiatives to provide a welcoming experience for all guests, including those with sensory processing needs.
Local high school senior Cameron Jarvis presented the program idea to Hurricanes management as a class project. Since Cameron is on the autism spectrum, she empathizes with those who may be sensitive to aspects of a game or event. Cameron and her family recognized the value of being able to experience events like Hurricanes games and wanted to help others do so.
“The new program will allow us to better assist and accommodate guests with sensory processing needs,” Hurricanes president Don Waddell said in a statement. “We want all guests to enjoy their experience at all PNC Arena events, including Cameron. We are grateful for her endorsement and that she connected us to our community in a new way.”
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KultureCity is a non-profit organization that has experience working with the special needs and sensory sensitive population in a community setting. Through their certification process, PNC Arena full- and part-time staff members received training to recognize and accommodate guests with sensory needs.
Production elements for events, including sound levels and special effects, will occur as programmed. However, venue staff will be able to assist those that may become overstimulated.
At the direction of KultureCity, PNC Arena will now have unique guidelines in place for those with sensory processing needs during an event:
Sensory bags, weighted lap pads and photosensitivity glasses will be available at Guest Services (Section 127) for guests to check-out at no cost. Bags will include a special badge for guest recognition, fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones and other resources.
Upon request, guests will be escorted to a designated quiet area for those who may become overstimulated during an event.
“The sensory inclusive certification was born out of the desire for us to help businesses and community organizations better understand that simple accommodations can make a huge difference for those with sensory needs,” said Dr. Julian Maha, KultureCity founder. “As more and more individuals are affected by sensory processing challenges today, such as PTSD, autism and strokes, we are excited to introduce the KultureCity training and certification to PNC Arena, providing families in Raleigh, North Carolina and the surrounding areas an opportunity to enjoy their outings with more confidence and acceptance.”
More information on KultureCity and its sensory inclusion offerings is available at www.sensoryinclusive.org.