ATLANTA (December 17, 2020) – Georgia Aquarium partnered with KultureCity to debut its latest offering to those guests with sensory needs – a fully-equipped sensory room located inside the Aquarium.
The Wilkins Rhodes sensory room promotes an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with a sensory need that visit Georgia Aquarium. The sensory room is dedicated for those guests who may need a quieter, smaller, or more secure environment during their visit. The space was designed by KultureCity medical professionals and is equipped with sensory tools and privacy. The visual light panels in the sensory room were provided by Nanoleaf, and the beanbags were provided by Yogibo. Guests can access the sensory room by using the passcode located next to the door. The room is available now and is a free offering.
Including the sensory room, Georgia Aquarium’s sensory amenities include:
- Sensory bags, equipped with noise-canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker) and weighted lap pads. These bags are available free of charge to all guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment at the Aquarium’s Information Desk.
- Designated sensory hours with low lighting, limited sounds, and further limited capacity. Check the Aquarium’s website for operating hours.
- Quiet Zones in galleries
“We want all of our guests to feel welcome and safe when visiting Georgia Aquarium,” said Dr. Brian Davis, President and CEO of Georgia Aquarium. “This new sensory room is another way we can ensure all families and guests can enjoy their visit together and at their own pace. We’re proud of this new space as well as our partnership with KultureCity and we look forward to continuing our work together in the future.”
Georgia Aquarium is certified Sensory Inclusive™ by KultureCity. Aquarium staff are trained by leading medical professionals on how to help guests with a sensory overload situation. Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress, and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise, which can be part of the environment in a venue like Georgia Aquarium.
Alongside its sensory amenities and KultureCity certification, Georgia Aquarium is prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when visiting and enjoying the Western hemisphere’s largest aquarium.
“To know that you soon will be able to see individuals and families visit Georgia Aquarium, a bonding and educational experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment. Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know Georgia Aquarium is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.” Dr. Julian Maha, Co-Founder, KultureCity.
Prior to visiting a venue or event, families can download the free KultureCity App and 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 Georgia Aquarium.
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 600 sensory-inclusive venues in 4 countries: this includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl 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.
ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM
Georgia Aquarium is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Atlanta, Ga. that is Humane Certified by American Humane and accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Georgia Aquarium is committed to working on behalf of all marine life through education, preservation, exceptional animal care, and research across the globe. Georgia Aquarium continues its mission each day to inspire, educate, and entertain its millions of guests about the aquatic biodiversity throughout the world through its hundreds of exhibits and tens of thousands of animals across its seven major galleries. For more information, visit georgiaaquarium.org