Utah State Athletics has announced it is working with KultureCity to make all of the events inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum sensory inclusive. The initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with a sensory issue at the venue.
Utah State staff have been trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize guests and fans with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will be available to guests, who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
"We are excited to be able to work with KultureCity to create a sensory inclusive environment in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum," assistant athletic dirctor of marketing and fan engagement Bobby Nash said. "By implementing the sensory inclusive resources, we are able to create opportunities for all fans to be able to enjoy Aggie athletic events in a comfortable and welcoming environment."
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for those individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which fans regularly experience inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Utah State staff will be better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Fans interested in sensory aides can download the KultureCity app before attending an event at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to view what sensory features are available and where they can access them. The app will also provide a social story, which will provide a preview of what to expect while attending an event inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
"To know that you soon will be able to see families attend a basketball game, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment," Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder of KultureCity said. "Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing."
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their 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 350 sensory inclusive venues in 4 countries; this includes special events such as: NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts: NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017, Cleveland Cavaliers' Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. Recently, KultureCity was awarded one of the World's Most Innovative Companies for 2019 by FastCompany.