BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo now a sensory friendly facility

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo now a sensory friendly facility
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo has now partnered with KultureCity to make sure all of its programs and events are sensory inclusive.

Zoo officials says the new initiative will promote an “accommodating and positive” experience for all visiting guests with sensory issues. The zoo is the first facility in Baton Rouge to be officially certified as a sensory inclusive facility, officials say.

BREC officials say in order for the zoo to be certified, staff members had to undergo training by medical professionals about how to recognize guests with sensory issues and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads will be available to visitors who may feel overwhelmed by the environment of the zoo. Those same guests will also be able to utilize quiet spaces if needed.

Individuals with PTSD, autism, dementia, and other similar conditions can struggle with sensory issues. With this new partnership, the zoo hopes to alleviate those issues while guests are enjoying the zoo.

Before attending an event at the zoo, families can download the KultureCity app to see what sensory features are available and where to get them.

“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend the zoo, 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. Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the zoo is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing,” said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder of KultureCity.

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