Chicago’s Wintrust Arena is now certified sensory inclusive, the result of a partnership with KultureCity. This is part of a larger partnership with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority that also includes Arie Crown Theater.
The new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with a sensory issue that visit the Wintrust Arena and Arie Crown Theater.
The certification process entailed training the staff at the Wintrust Arena and Arie Crown Theater by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those 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 also be available to all guests at the Wintrust Arena and Arie Crown Theater who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
“With nearly 1 in 5 people worldwide impacted by a disability, any action we can take to make our campus more welcoming is important” said Larita Clark, Acting CEO, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition, owner of the Wintrust Arena and Arie Crown Theater. “We are extremely proud that the Wintrust Arena and Arie Crown Theater are now Certified Sensory Inclusive.”
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over-stimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a venue like the Wintrust Arena or Arie Crown Theater. With its new certification, the Wintrust Arena and Arie Crown Theater are now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when attending any event at the Wintrust Arena or Arie Crown Theater.
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 Wintrust Arena or Arie Crown Theater.
“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend a basketball game at Wintrust Arena, a true community binding experience, or any of the varied events at either venue 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 Wintrust Arena and Arie Crown Theater are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, are included in their community is amazing.” Dr. Julian Maha, Co-Founder, KultureCity.